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True Love Versus Unethical Love

It is not always easy to distinguish between true love and love that is not true. Unethical love can be highly charming. What is the bottom line of true love? The Golden Rule expresses it: “Treat others as one would want to be treated.” This starts in the family and extends gradually to the nation and the world. True love is other centered, serving, and sacrificial. Love that is not true takes an unethical direction.

Unethical Love

True love is other-centered, serving, and sacrificial. Love that is not true takes an unethical direction. It:

  • is self-centered and manipulative; it seeks its own benefit at the sacrifice of other people.

  • often expresses a vain heart that seeks the attention of others.

  • devalues others and neglects its own values.

  • ignores positions and tends to equalize everything.

  • tends to be possessive and forceful while ignoring commitment.

  • does not endure.

  • tends to be corrupting and corruptible. It confuses joy and pleasure, spiritual values and material values, while ignoring family ethics.

True Love

As we all seek true love, we know more or less what it is. But the power of love that is not true may interfere and blind us. To maintain the direction of true love, we should apply the following guidelines:

  • True Love is heart motivated. Heart is the subjective origin of love. Being deeper than intellect, emotion and will, heart motivates the loving subject to think, feel, and act for the happiness of the beloved object.

  • True Love is value oriented. To love others is to promote their well-being, truth, beauty, and goodness. The way to seek values in others is to realize them in our lives. Therefore, an exemplary life induces a virtuous circle.

  • True Love is regulated. Being reciprocal, love creates high- and low-pressure areas between the heart of the subject partner and the values of the object partner; true love always seeks balance and fairness, and it checks that the right quantity and quality of love flows between partners. Parents want their children to excel, while remembering that each child is unique.

  • True Love is responsible. True love is committed even to the unlovable. Should obstacles arise on the way to joy, true love does not retreat but works to clear the way. Parents feel responsible to love difficult children. True love steadfastly keeps the door open for reciprocity but does not force the other one to step in.

  • True Love is lasting and unwavering. True love is not diminished by circumstances.

  • True Love is pure. Considerations of money, power, and fame cannot alter its direction.

  • Guided by family ethics, it seeks completeness and perfection, and is not content with mediocre or partial results.

Our desire is to go in the direction of true love, but in order to get to our destination, we need to map out the principles that lead to true and lasting love.

Ethics of True Love and Sexuality

The sexual revolution promised greater freedom, love, and happiness through removing past inhibitions and disrupting time-honored traditions. However, the excesses of the sexual revolution have brought an avalanche of personal and social problems. Better school systems and social improvements would have delayed the onset of these problems partially, but these do not address the fundamental cause of these problems, which is the breakdown and loss of families. We need to educate our youth about the importance of keeping purity before marriage and achieving individual maturity through true love. True love is the fundamental root of joy, happiness, and all ideals.

Love is the emotional attraction that causes two beings to unite and experience joy. True love is motivated by heart and promotes the happiness and total well-being of the beloved. Such love involves a reciprocal commitment between partners that is pure, unwavering, and lasting.

The core of ethics is family ethics. The sequence of four realms through which our heart grows are: child's, sibling's, spouse's and parent's heart of love. Harmony and purity are the primary virtues of the sibling's realm of heart. These virtues lay the foundation for fidelity and commitment, which are the primary virtues of the spouse's realm of heart.

People often think of love only in the conjugal sense, or even more narrowly in terms of physical "love-making." Sexual activity is very stimulating. But in the absence of a deep, mature commitment from both partners, fulfillment never accompanies transient physical arousal and pleasure. Instead, a vague emptiness combined with physical titillation generates a type of addiction. This causes the sexual act to become increasingly empty of true goodness and beauty. Longing for wholeness through true love but not finding it, people keep looking for more and more sources of stimulation. Those who advocate experimenting with a variety of partners before settling down are perpetrating a great fraud. Such a lifestyle before marriage virtually always detracts from profound loyalty, commitment, and purity as a life-long spouse.