Crime of Passion


What do you think when you hear of a “Crime of Passion”? What emotions does it bring to mind?

Wikipedia defines it as follows:

refers to a violent crime, especially homicide, in which the perpetrator commits the act against someone because of sudden strong impulse such as sudden rage rather than as a premeditated crime.

The example that most often comes to mind when discussing a “crime of passion” is one where a spouse catches their partner in bed with someone else and kills them in the heat of the moment. It has (regrettably) been used as an acceptable defense to reduce the seriousness of the charge of murder, typically dropping it from 1st degree murder to voluntary manslaughter.

We know, of course, that “Crime” is an act that goes against the law of the country.

What, then, is passion?

Passion is defined as:

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
3. strong sexual desire; lust.
4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.
5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

6. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything

7. the object of such a fondness or desire
8. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling
9. violent anger.
10. the state of being acted upon or affected by something external,especially something alien to one’s nature or one’s customary behavior(contrasted with action).
11. (often initial capital letter) Theology.
       a. the sufferings of Christ on the cross or His sufferings subsequent
           to the Last Supper
       b. the narrative of Christ’s sufferings as recorded in the Gospels
12. Archaic. the sufferings of a martyr.

Therefore, we can conclude that a “crime of passion” would include a crime of powerful emotion, or regarding an object of powerful emotion. Alternatively, a “Crime of violent anger”.
When we think of a crime of passion, what we must not do is to romanticize it. Often there is the mentality of “he/she must have loved them a LOT if they were brought to such violence in that moment!” Let’s be clear… True Love does not bring a person to violence, no matter what the provocation is!
Love is:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Love is not a noun. It is not an emotion. It is an expression, an action. Love is a verb.

We have taken “love” and we have turned it into an emotion, we have made it something we have no control over. We have taken away our responsibility for love and made it into something intangible, uncontrollable. We have made it an excuse, a justification. We have made it powerless.

The dictionary defines love as:


  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.
  3. Sexual passion or desire.
  4. A person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
  5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like):
    Would you like to see a movie, love?
  6. A love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
  7. Sexual intercourse; copulation.
  8. (initial capital letter) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
  9. Affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
  10. Strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
  11. The object or thing so liked: the theater was her great love.
  12. The benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
  13. Chiefly Tennis. A score of zero; nothing
  14. A word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.

and as:

VERB (used with object), loved, loving.

  1. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
  2. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).
  3. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
  4. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.
  5. to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.
  6. to have sexual intercourse with.

We have taken away from Love the power of action and reduced it to “warm attachment”, “affection” … or, worse “sexual desire”.


Love is not something that comes and goes with the wind. It is something that was designed to last. Something that would help us take care of each other. We are to treat each other with love, with kindness, patience, humbleness. We are to avoid envy, pride, arrogance, rudeness, irritability and resentment.


Imagine if you were to eliminate just irritability when interacting with your family members or friends? How would that change your relationship? How much safer would children feel in a home where irritability was missing? How about rudeness? How often is sarcasm used to make a point? What if we simply eliminated that from our relationships? From our emotional vocabulary?

You would be experiencing a different world, a different kind of relationship.

Do you think it’s possible to give love it’s power back? Do you think we could change just our own part of the world by simply eliminating one thing we do to destroy love? To replace it with a loving action? Instead of irritability, patience. Instead of pride, humbleness. Instead of arrogance or rudeness, kindness.

We can’t repair abusive relationships.

We can repair ourselves.

We can make our future relationships healthier. 

Love … and hate … they aren’t emotions. They aren’t nouns. They aren’t something that happens to us, they aren’t something out of our control.


Love (and hate) are verbs. They are defined by action. They do not exist outside of action. The best way to understand how someone feels about you is by their actions. If someone cries “I love you” but hurts you and treats you in a hateful manner, listen to their actions. Put weight in their actions. The words are meaningless if they do not balance with behavior.

…. Are you loved?

…………….. Are you loving?

………………………… What do the actions say?


2 thoughts on “Crime of Passion

  1. Hello. I’d have to say that love and hate are not /only/ emotions. I think most people assume that emotions can’t be controlled at all. Love certainly can, though. Otherwise it makes no sense for God to command us to love.

    I actually think the emotion is a really important part of love. I think if there isn’t any emotion, then you are either looking at trying to love your enemy, or… you are dealing with a lack of empathy. We know what that looks like. We don’t think of that as true love.

    I do think that the “verb-ness” of love is extremely important, though. I think that’s what makes it possible to *see* that there is love. It makes the “noun-ness” of love visible. If you can’t see love happening, does it exist?

    If we don’t show love by action, then we’re like the people in James 2:16 who say, “go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” but don’t give them what they need. I think a person who makes the intentional commitment to feel true love and empathy couldn’t say they have loved without the action being there, too. That would be a delusion to call it love without the emotion or the action.

    Bottom line, though, narcissists definitely don’t love truly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your response.

      I would agree that emotion forms PART of love, but is not the whole of it. Love is made up of combinations of emotion: affection, interest, compassion, joy, and (sometimes) attraction/desire. Choosing to grow and build these emotions feeds the desire to show love.

      I also think the very point that we are Biblically commanded to love points to it being more than an emotion. We are not commanded to be happy, sad, angry or other emotions. We are commanded to control those emotions, but that we are commanded to love points to it being something more than an emotion.

      Emotions are absolutely controllable, and manageable. When we submit them to God this becomes even easier.

      Bottom line, whether we consider it an emotion or an action, the end result is the same. It is actions that reveal how a person feels about you.

      Liked by 1 person

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