Posted by: zephaniah317 | May 24, 2008


My Momma said,
You can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait
She said “love don’t come easy,
“Well, it’s a game of give and take”.

You Can’t Hurry Love, The Supremes, 1966

Being a child of the 80’s, I naturally prefer the Phil Collins version and downloaded it onto my iPod this week, but for actual quote sake, I defer to the Supremes, who originally recorded the song, just in case some of you out there would assume that I thought that Phil recorded the original.  🙂

(useless trivia:  Here in the US, the Supremes version reached #1, the Phil version reached #10; In the UK, the Phil version reached #1, while the Supremes version reached #10)

But I digress.  I put those lyrics here to disagree with them.  I don’t believe it’s a “game of give and take”, per se.  And while I’m probably splitting hairs here, I believe it’s (1) not a game, and (2) it’s about give and receive, NOT take.

First point:  If it’s a game, then I’m out.  I’ve played enough games in my life with relationships.  If you like me/love me, good, let’s go.  If you don’t, that’s OK, too, but don’t try to manipulate me into liking or loving you, or try to make me believe that if I do a, b, and c, then you’ll love me.  Been there, done that, had enough.  God isn’t like that towards us, and we shouldn’t be like that towards each other, either.  I’ve blogged about it before, love is unconditional.  It has nothing to do with what a person does, but everything (and only) to do with who a person is.  This goes for agape and romantic love – being “in love” – as well.  If it’s a game, it’s not love.  No games, please.

Second point:  If you have to take it, or feel like you have to take it, or are constantly trying to take it, it’s not love.  I’ve blogged about this too, continually it seems – I’m a recovering approval addict.  Constantly wrestling with the belief that if I want love, I have to earn it, take it, get it by any means at my disposal – my abilites, talents, personality, etc….all used to gain the love and approval of others.  Enough.  But here’s the main point:  if you (or I) are constantly, frantically at times, reaching for, grasping for, or manipulating love from others (or under the false belief that we have to do these things to get it from God as well), we/I can’t receive it.  I’m frequently finding myself in the “take” mode.  As a result, over time, love becomes a thing to be taken from others, so when genuine, unconditional love comes along, it’s foreign, feels wrong – like the heart (and maybe the flesh) is saying, “that’s not love – I can’t earn it, can’t control it.”  And as a continued result, isn’t received.  Receiving love requires being in a content, calm place in life, knowing that I’m God’s child and I don’t have to earn a thing – this makes us able to receive it from others when it’s given.

So, it’s a cool song and a catchy lyric, but not quite accurate, thank God.



  1. Thanks for posting this. Always good for a reminder. I have that frantic feeling about lots of things at various points, not only about love, and have recognized that any time I am operating under what I call that “desperation,” then I am not allowing or trusting God to work in my life. Sometimes I forget that, though, and revert.

  2. thanks for the blog. I have been caught up in a situation where it has taken everything I am to walk away from because my flesh has me striving again to get that “love” from others. I needed the reminder to rest in Him. Thanks.

  3. <<>>

    I think you may have helped me understand why my unconditional love toward someone I care very much about goes “unbelieved” and “unreceived.” Question is, how to I get him to believe?

  4. I just downloaded that song too…small world! As a child of the 80’s I also prefer Phil’s version. Again you have helped me regain much needed perspective. Not only is love not about give and “take”…it is also not about give and give. For me it is far too easy to get caught up in trying to convince people that I am worthy of love. Giving to others is the easy part, there is no risk there, but receiving can be hard, especially if I feel I have not earned it. Being vulnerable is not my forte. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. “love becomes a thing to be taken from others, so when genuine, unconditional love comes along, it’s foreign, feels wrong – like the heart (and maybe the flesh) is saying, “that’s not love – I can’t earn it, can’t control it.” ”

    Well said.

    As I read this I realized how God has been and continues to transform my own heart. When I love others unconditionally/irrationally out of His unconditional love for me, I’m more able to receive the same from others or let it roll off of me when their “love” appears to be conditional. That’s been a long-time coming.

  6. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Endemicity

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