A friend of mine recently blessed me by giving me a hand-written quote that she had chosen for me out of a book of quotes. It read, “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when or how you love, it matters only that you love.” ~ John Lennon.
Perhaps she thought of me when she read it because she knew that I had taken a risk to love someone and had recently experienced the painful ending of that relationship. Perhaps she didn’t want me to close my heart off as a result. Regardless, I was grateful for her thoughtful gift and have spent the past two weeks considering John Lennon’s take on love.
“It matters not who you love.” I used to think that a person couldn’t help who they loved. But, now, I think it does matter who you choose to give your heart to, because there are a lot of people out there who cannot be trusted with your heart and we ought to guard our heart and only give it to someone who has earned our trust by consistently demonstrating trustworthy behavior. If we don’t, our love for someone else will hurt us, and that would not be demonstrating love for ourselves.
“It matters not why you love.” Why do any of us love? Is it because it feels good? Is it because we just do and we cannot explain it? 1 Corinthians 13, which contains a beautiful description of real love, does not shed any light on why a person loves. It simply assumes that LOVE IS, as if it is part of our nature to love. This makes perfect sense when we consider that we are made in God’s image and God is love.
“It matters not where or when you love.” This is absolutely true! There are no rules! Real love is appropriate in any location and at any time. In fact, we are most blessed when we love at all times — when we live and move and exist in a continual state of love, not only for others, but also for ourselves, and ultimately, for our Creator.
“It matters not how you love.” In Gary Chapman’s book. The Five Love Languages, he explains that people receive love in different ways. Some people feel most loved when they receive kisses and hugs, whereas others feel loved when their spouse washes their car or bakes them a pie. There are innumerable expressions of love and they are neither right nor wrong. However, to truly love someone requires that we understand what makes them feel loved, so that we can then love them in a way that is tangible to them.
“It matters only that you love.” This is John Lennon’s final conclusion, which is sound and sure wisdom! To live a life without love is not a life worth living. I don’t mean that you have to have someone who loves you to give your life value. Rather, I mean that we all ought to have hearts full of love, first for ourselves, and then for others. For here is the reality . . . we cannot love others any more than we love ourselves. And even the love we do have is a gift from God and not something we can muster up independent of him whose image we represent.