What is the Science?
Love is one of the most important ideas in the Christian faith. Christians often talk about true love as unconditional and eternal. However, new research into the biochemical and physiological components of love suggest that it is actually a “micro-moment of positivity resonance.” This research might challenge some common perceptions of love, especially those that emphasize either the unconditionality of love (such as between a parent and child) or the romance of love (such as between two newlyweds). While the physiological response involved in a “micro-moment of positivity resonance” cannot be manufactured, one can make space for these moments throughout the day and embrace them when they happen.
What is the Theology?
Pastors can use this research in combination with scripture to widen a congregation’s understanding of love. Sermons can explore the importance of connecting with people one encounters throughout the day, as it can give hope to those feeling lonely or isolated. Sermons can also highlight the growth of love that is possible in our lives as we practice and receive the love of others.
“Thinking of love purely as romance or commitment that you share with one special person—as it appears most on earth do—surely limits the health and happiness you derive [from love].”
What to Consider
- If love is understood as a “micro-moment of positivity resonance,” how does this change your understanding of love? Is this research missing something in its definition of love?
- What micro-moments of positivity resonance have contributed to intimate relationships in your life?
- How can we understand our love for God and God’s love for us in terms of “micro-moments of positivity resonance?”
How to Go Deeper
- Read Psalm 107 concerning the way God related to Israel throughout its history. Compare and contrast it with the idea of love as “micro-moments of positivity resonance.” Invite others to share their stories of experiencing God’s love in light of this research.
- Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David, Timothy and Paul–three friendships that exemplify love. Explore some of the early “micro-moments of positivity resonance” that formed these friendships (Ruth 1; 1 Samuel 18, 20; Acts 16). Discuss the way these moments relate to the biblical ideal of unconditional, selfless, and eternal love.
- Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13 and share this research on love. Explore the ways love understood as “micro-moments of positivity resonance” might change the way one views romantic love. In light of this, share some ideas for how love can be nurtured and strengthened for newlyweds and those who have been married for several decades.
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