My husband is a pastor. I am a nurse. Every week I prepare a health spot in our churches’ bulletins. This week, in sync with Valentine’s Day, I did a spot on the physiological basis of infatuation, the chemistry of first love. Doctors have mapped the chemical changes that occur and discovered the frontal cortex of the brain shuts down during the heady days of courtship. MRI scans show this de-activation causes us to suspend all criticism or doubt. Dopamine floods the brain. Dopamine is key to our experiences of pleasure and pain. Linked to desire, addiction, and euphoria, a surge may cause such acute feelings of reward that it makes love hard to give up. Surging dopamine has the same effect on the body as cocaine. Another side effect of rising dopamine levels is a reduction in another chemical, serotonin, a key hormone in our moods and appetite. Lack of serotonin makes us feel anxious and jittery.
The love chemical we are most familiar with, however, is adrenaline. This hormone is why our heart races, palms sweat and mouth goes dry when we see the person we like. The same hormone is also released when we are frightened. This means that two people only vaguely attracted to one another can fall madly in love if they go through an exciting or scary experience together. It may also explain the lure of forbidden love.
Next week my husband is going to preach on Luke 7:36-50. It is one of the greatest love stories in the Bible. In fact, these verses record such an outlandish display of love for the Lord Jesus that there have been whole stories concocted about the relationship between this young woman and Jesus. One popular novel by Dan Brown “The Da Vinci Code” hints that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were actually married and she, being pregnant, carried the royal seed to France. (http://ufodigest.com/indefence.html)
The following is a clip of the supposed French descendent of Jesus who has been just rescued from being murdered by those who believe her presence will destroy the church.
Evangelist Fred Grewe, whom I greatly appreciate, has said that this passage is his favorite in all the Bible. He remarked in a sermon I heard him preach 2/28/1999 on Luke 7:36-50 that he wanted to love Jesus like the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair did. She was totally smitten with Him. She didn’t care who saw her or what they thought, she was going right into the publican’s house and do what she wanted to do. She, with complete and utter abandon, poured out her most expensive perfume on the Savior’s feet, washed them with it and then dried His feet with her hair. Crazy, compulsive, contrite, complete was her love for the Master. Perhaps it was a bit chemical, too, but we are encased in chemicals. I can relate.
Walking with Him this Monday,