“LOVE GIVES LIFE”: HOMEMADE CHALLENGES VIEWERS WITH LOVE
“Love gives life. Love should bring with it joy and hope,” shares Kanivar Bakir, leading a two-episode special on the SAT-7 TÜRK program Homemade. Asking viewers to rethink their understanding of love, the presenters explore God’s love and how it impacts every aspect of our relationships. Speaking to a society where domestic abuse is prevalent, the show also helps viewers see “what love is not”.
With viewers in Turkey bombarded by a slew of concerning media stories about the pandemic and the declining economy, the episodes of Homemade encourage them to prioritise God’s love and peace in their lives. “Let love lift us up out of the monotony of lockdown and isolation,” says Presenter Şemsa Deniz Bakir as she welcomes viewers to the program. “God is love. He wants us to love ourselves, love each other, and love nature and animals,” she adds.
Highlighting that people were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), the episode explores how God can transform us. “When we believe in God, His love is poured out into our lives through the Holy Spirit,” says Kanivar Bakir, Şemsa’s husband and a guest on the show. “His love is not temporary or conditional, like the world’s love. God’s love cannot be removed from us; it opens our eyes, and we begin to love differently.”
However, “Just as faith without works is dead (James 2:17), love without action is dead,” cautions co-host Ilknur Bay Firat. Kanivar agrees, “If I love God – or if I love my wife, my church, my friends, or nature – you should be able to see and feel that love. If someone keeps telling you they love you, but they do not show this in their actions, then there is something missing.”
“Love does not kill. It does not hit or punch”
This focus speaks to the prevalent problem of domestic abuse and femicide in Turkey, where at least 300 women were killed by male relatives or ex-partners in 20201. Speaking into this context, Kanivar distinguishes between what love is, and what it is not. “Love is not about ownership of your partner; it is not controlling or jealous. In our country, we see femicide and domestic abuse committed in the name of ‘love’. But love does not kill. It does not hit and punch; it does not shout. Real love cannot deliberately cause pain. Love seeks a solution to a problem; it takes responsibility, and it builds trust.”
“Love can change a society,” adds Şemsa, describing the difference it makes when a child grows up with God’s love and His Word in a loving family. “This helps a child to grow up to be a beneficial member of society. In this way, we will all become better, and we can stop talking about violence against women because it will no longer exist. We can stop talking about murders, because there won’t be any killings.”
Sharing the Gospel with viewers, Kanivar adds, “We love because God loved us first. Jesus took our sin and died on the cross for us as the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for us. As the Bible says, ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’” One viewer comments in response, “No sin is greater than the blood that Jesus Christ has shed for us.”
Kanivar concludes with a final challenge to viewers: “He who loves God should love his neighbour – this is a commandment we have received from Jesus.”