I always found this song incredibly creepy for the sole reason that, out of the context of the boys talking about one particular girl, the chorus implies that it’s all good, as long as you love them. You can be a dude, a serial killer, a minor (or in their case at this time, an adult), or an animal. They don’t care.
Don’t get me wrong, Nick Carter fans. I don’t have a problem with indiscriminate love, in the correct context and biological norms. Let’s move into maturity and talk about what love really means, using the Bible as the correct treatment.
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
It’s hard to argue that selflessness is a universal expression of love, as Jesus exercises before His disciples.
What frustrates me to a high degree, however, is how Christians (at least, those who proclaim to be such) continue to choose who they will love. Some people have the great gumption to forgive even the most horrible people for their atrocious deeds, but most of us will never have to do something like this publicly. But our hearts should always be lowered, always regarding others as better than ourselves. It should be so humble and dramatic that it’s hard to ignore as mere formality or religion or good will. Why isn’t this happening more often?
One of the key moments in church history has to do with the allowance of non-Jews to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, that everyone truly has access to heaven because of His death and resurrection. This might seem like something trivial to the church-saturated U.S., but coming from the highly exclusive Jewish religion, it’s a big deal to the contemporaries of the time. It’s kinda like being cool with your food touching other food on your plate.
Oh, you’re okay with this?
Instead of sending some permission slips to Antioch saying entering heaven is allowed with parental consent, the church moves heavy hitters Saul and Barnabas out to teach, encourage, admonish, and speak prophecy to the people of Antioch, resulting in multitudes hearing and being saved. They stayed for about a year, unquestionably bolstering the local hotel business, but more importantly reinforcing their earnestness to love the Greek people there. And even so, many more were saved.
And then they kept going. Divinely knowing of a coming famine, the apostles pooled up some resources and fed some hungry people in the vicinity. They could’ve said they were too tired or they needed to go “get fed”, but they pooled up what they had and went even further to demonstrate love.
Would it behoove us to show love in this way, to spend some extra time or give a little more? Do we always have to “get something out of it”? Does our love for others have to be conditional, only dispensed when it’s convenient for ourselves and it’s deserved of others?
I encourage you to examine your daily relationships, those with your spouse, your parents, your children, or friends that you might not see eye-to-eye with, and consider how you’re behaving with them. Is the love of Jesus evident? Or is your pride just too big to get around to finally forgive? Does your love extend beyond yourself and your kind to other groups that you don’t agree with?
It shouldn’t matter who they are or where they’ve come from. It shouldn’t matter what they’ve done. Love them.
It’s what the Backstreet Boys would want.