Should We Love with All Our Hearts?

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna gush about Mumford and Sons in this post.  Because I did that last month, and you people will only put up with so much of that nonsense.

But.

I am gonna share some thoughts their lyrics are responsible for causing me to think.

The song is called White Blank Page, and, as near as I can tell, it’s a song about love gone awry.  And part of the chorus says, “Tell me now, where was my fault in loving you with my whole heart?”

Interesting question.

Upon first hearing, my heart identified, saying, “Yeah!  Loving someone wholeheartedly is NEVER wrong!  And anyone who thinks so is stupid!”  I’m pretty mature that way.

But upon further ruminating, that line of thinking sank like a rock in Lake Bitter.  Because there are all kinds of “bad” love.

Some examples:

  • if you are married and you develop romantic love for someone besides your spouse (Adultery)
  • if you love something or someone more than you love God (Idolatry)
  • if you love something too much (Addiction)
  • if you love something inherently bad or evil (Psychosis)
  • if you love yourself more than others (Narcissism)

Maybe I’m over-analyzing here.  If the song is written to a spouse, the singer ought to love his wife with his whole heart, right?

The beginning of an oft quoted Bible verse says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27).

It’s telling that nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to love anything else wholeheartedly.  Not our spouses, our kids, ourselves, our hobbies, our jobs, nor our passions.  Just God.

Jesus does speak to loving others quite a bit, but never with all our heart.  In fact, in the second portion of Luke 10:27, Jesus tells us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This may just be my low self-esteem talking, but who in the world loves himself with his whole heart?  Not me!  There is plenty about me that I dislike.  And, by interacting with a lot of different women each week, I know I am not alone.  I can’t speak for you men, but I am willing to bet there are very, very few people in the world who love themselves wholeheartedly, and rightfully so.  We broken, sinful humans are full of way too much crap to love ourselves wholeheartedly, and the ones who do probably need their heads examined.

(Note: loving well/unconditionally is not the same as loving wholeheartedly.  We should love ourselves and others well/unconditionally.)

All that to say, apparently, Marcus Mumford was in the wrong to love a woman with his whole heart.  According to the Bible, that depth of love should be reserved for the Lord.  When we find ourselves feeling that we love something with our whole hearts, we are teetering on the edge of idolatry, if we haven’t already jumped in with both feet.

But because I love Marcus Mumford (not wholeheartedly, of course), I’ll go ahead and defend his use of the phrase “whole heart” with the following interpretation: “Tell me now, where was my fault in loving you as I love myself?”

It doesn’t rhyme, but its biblical.  So.  Win.

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