What’s Love Got To Do With It?
By Pastor George Van Alstine

Tina Turner, songwriters Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, numerous producers and music company executives have all made a lot of money from sales of this song. It’s appropriate to think of the lyrics as we approach Valentines Day:

You must understand
That the touch of your hand
Makes my pulse react
That it’s only the thrill
Of boy meeting girl
Opposites attract
It’s Physical
Only logical
You must try to ignore
That it means more than that

We can avoid a lot of pain and suffering if we keep our dreamy, romantic Valentine notions in perspective. This is the point made in the song’s chorus:

Oh what’s love got to do with it?
What’s love but a second hand emotion?
What’s love got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

This song’s name was chosen as the title of the 1983 movie about Tina Turner’s life. As the film reveals, the twenty-year romance between Tina and her husband/partner Ike was marked by some pretty severe episodes of domestic violence, which ultimately led to their divorce. It’s easy to read bits of this true-life drama between the lines of the song. In Tina’s case, the price paid for love was a broken body as well as a broken heart. It makes some sense to try to have relationships that guard against the threat of pain by avoiding falling into love:

You must try to ignore
That it means more than that

But alas, we are incurably hungry for love, and we find ourselves pretending it’s there even when it isn’t. That’s why Valentine cards are the biggest sellers for Hallmark. They’re dominated by hearts and cupids and the big “L” word. There’s something in us, men as well as women, that finds sex without love to be profoundly unsatisfying. So we keep coming back for more and, in many cases, are hurt over and over again. Even worse, we find we have a compulsion to hurt the other person more than they hurt us. That’s where domestic violence comes in.

People who find themselves caught in this pathetic endless cycle of love disappointments may find their way out by learning from the example of Jesus. Think of how these simple words would affect our love relationships if we acted on them:

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

We think love relationships should bring us life, but Jesus said a true lover is willing to give up life for the loved one. Sometimes we inflict pain on one another in the name of love, but Jesus advocated a kind of love that accepts pain for the sake of love.

The heart of the Bible’s message of Good News is expressed in these words: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” (John 3:16)

What’s love got to do with it? EVERYTHING!

Happy Valentines Day!