April 17, 2015

Hating Love

Gary Thomas — 

Hating Love final

The most damaging instance of “identity theft” is when hate masquerades as love.

I see it all the time, particularly in dating relationships.

A young man “falls in love” with a woman, woos her until he has monopolized her social calendar and then weeks or months later, drops her. Once she has abandoned everything for him, he abandons her. But it was all done in the name of love. His feelings once told him it would never end, so he demanded absolute commitment and focus. But now that the feelings have changed, so apparently has his view of “love.”

A premarital couple I’m working with hit the jackpot when the young man finally said, “Okay, now I get that I’m supposed to care about her relationship with God even more than I care about our relationship with each other.”


Speaking of Jesus, John the Baptist proclaimed that, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). “Hating love” thinks, “I must increase in your life even if He must decrease.” Oswald Chamber puts it bluntly: “If you become a necessity to a soul, you are out of God’s order.”

Our primary aim in every relationship, including marriage and dating, is to point others to Jesus. We should strive to encourage all to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). If we make ourselves “necessary” to someone, we’re supplanting this order. Making yourself “necessary” to someone you’re not married to is particularly reckless and cruel. It may feel good to be needed, to have someone say, “I could never be happy without you,” but that’s taking the place of God in their life, which is to make you, in one sense, a competitor of Christ.

This is why I urge singles to guard their calendars when romantic feelings are fresh. If you start spending every extra moment together and the relationship doesn’t last, you’ve pulled this person from their friends and their life focus. When the relationship crashes, their life crashes and has to be completely rebuilt. Leaving someone in that condition is like mortgaging their house so you can gamble with their money to get rich. It’s reckless, it’s selfish it’s the opposite of love.

When a married woman uses sex to manipulate or humiliate her husband, that’s “hating love.” That’s taking something precious and using it as an evil weapon. When a married man considers it a betrayal if his wife has any other significant relationships that’s “hating love.” He’s controlling her in the name of preserving some misguided sense of marital loyalty.

Love is always—always—doing what is best for the other person. Not what is best for you. Not what will make them like you or need you or want you. Love is kind, it is patient, it is strong enough to do what is right instead of giving way to the weakness of selfishness or feelings, it is self-sacrificing, it never rejoices in wrongdoing, it doesn’t insist on its own way.

If 1 Corinthians 13 doesn’t describe your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s actions, they’re not loving you—they’re hating you in the name of love. You’ve become the latest victim of the worst form of spiritual identity theft. You’re more likely experiencing mutual manipulation than true, biblical love.

Don’t be fooled by self-interest masquerading as love. Insist on love.

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13 responses to Hating Love

  1. Bullseye…

  2. The true mark of true and godly love is giving #John3:16 true love gives God to the beloved rather doesn’t take away by demanding what it can get. GOD is LOVE 🙂

  3. Great article. This happened to me as well. I dated a guy for 18 months. I didn’t know him very long or well before we started dating. I met him through a mutual friend in church and he really seemed like a great guy, marriage material, ticked all the boxes. He wanted me to commit to him very quickly and pulled out all the stops while pursuing me. He made me feel very guilty about longstanding friendships with men and that let to me not spending time with my friends at all or when I did I was in trouble. Our last conversation and agreement before I went away on December holiday was that we will talk about the future and where we are heading when I get back from holiday. Two weeks later, on the 31st of December I received a text from him saying our relationship is over and he wants to pursue a mutual friend of hours. I asked him to wait untill I am back so that we can discuss things. He didn’t. He went ahead with the relationship while I was away. both of them decided to write me off as a friend. My relationship, my friends, my social life, my life as I new it was ripped away in an instant and I was merely informed via text. I had tomove to another town, find another job and start my life over at 32.

  4. Keep writing for those unmarrieds! Don’t stop! Preventative medicine beats out triage every single (no pun intended) time! Sharing this post with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at https://www.facebook.com/FMUniversity.

  5. Assuming by your statement: “When a married man considers it a betrayal if his wife has any other significant relationships that’s ‘hating love.'” that you meant healthy female relationships, not significant relationships with males outside the family?

  6. Love the article. I’ve never heard about guarding your calendar and I wish I had. Thanks.

  7. Scott M. Peck wrote a book called The People Of The Lie. Which is basically what you say here. It is a brilliant read. In it, he sites an example of a suicidal young man who came to see him. To cut a long story short, he received a rifle for his birthday – the same rifle his older brother used to commit suicide a couple of years earlier. His parents didn’t want to throw away a perfectly good rifle so gave it to him. And the parents are blissfully unaware of the implications of their actions. The young man took it to mean that they want him to do the same as his older brother, because they gave him the same gun. So, in all walks of life, in all spheres of life – you get those who hate love, who are the people of the lie. It is probably one of the best books I’ve read as it touched so strongly on what it is to live the truth, and be blissfully unaware of living the lie. Thank you for another great article.

  8. Wonderfully written and SO.VERY.TRUE! Blessings to you, Gary, for shedding light on this issue. I hope the singles are listening! Even for those of us who are married, we can put our own hearts to the test.

  9. I’ve read two of your books and I’ve become fascinated with the truths that your present. Thank you very much for this article, and your wise advice on a topic that has been relevant to me in these last couple of months. God bless this much-needed ministry.

  10. Excellent! Thank you, Gary!

  11. LOVE this post. Jesus is such an awesome example of love. Giving us his best for ours. Lord, make me more like Jesus. And bless Gary as he continues to make your love known.