Bambi was a dear movie about a dear deer! In one memorable scene Bambi and his bunny-buddy Thumper and fragrant little skunk friend Flower are puzzled as they watch a pair of “love-birds” flitting, fluttering, chirping and happily chasing each other about. Friend Owl explains, “They’re `twitterpated.’ Twitterpated is when you get weak in the knees, you’re head’s in a whirl. . . you feel light as a feather and you’re walking on air. . . you completely lose your head.” Ever been “twitterpated”?!!
A computer search for “twitterpated” yielded this: “a word used to describe the fluttery rush of feeling that comes when one is in the presence of his or her crush; the giddiness of new love” (reference.com/motif/computers/ what-does-the-word-twitterpated-mean). Who can deny love may bring on some “twitterpation”?! In a highly poetic Bible passage about marital fidelity, Solomon discusses the powerful effect of romantic love between a husband and wife with these words: As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured (or intoxicated, English Standard Version) with her love” (Proverbs 5:19). Sounds like twitterpated to me! And moreover, these twitterpated feelings are part of God’s design for married love. The problem is the world has reduced “love” to nothing more than the “rush of fluttery feelings” akin to being “twitterpated.” The feeling element in love has been cut loose from the wider Biblical definition. The “love” pervasively advocated and celebrated in music and movies and in society at large is often nothing more than plain old lust. As in when Alan Jackson sang in a popular country song a number of years ago, “I’m in love with you baby, and I don’t even know your name.” Need I tell you this kind of “love” is wreaking havoc on our culture? Unplanned pregnancies, unwanted babies, sexually transmitted diseases, broken homes and hearts and lives — these negative things are the offspring of a stunted, twitterpated kind of love that centers on nothing except a “fluttery rush of feelings.” That kind of love that is more concerned with what one feels than how one acts toward others.
Jesus demonstrated love the day He died on the cross for the sins of the world (Romans 5:8) — but He was just not just twitterpated. The love Jesus displayed at the cross did not feel good to Him, but what He did was very good for those He loved. The love that purchased the church (Acts 20:28) was not the self-centered, twitterpated love looking for a fluttery rush of positive and pleasurable feelings. The love that provided salvation from sin was tough and selfless enough to endure crucifixion and the suffering that came with it. The Bible calls Christians to “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2). A twitterpated world is not well-served by a twitterpated church willing to love only when it feels good. The cross of Christ reminds us that Christ-like love keeps on loving even when we suffer long (1 Corinthians 13:4). And the Bible makes clear that loving God’s way is more about what we do and how we act than how we feel. Jesus was not just a twitterpated Savior. Are you just a twitterpated Christian? Think about it.
Dan Gulley serves as an elder and preacher for the Smithville church of Christ.