People use to say “For the love of God” a lot more than they do now. You can still find it mostly in old books and old movies. It is a variant of the desperation or exasperation of, For Christ’s sake! and other profanities.
When this phrase is used, for example, “For the love of God, stop torturing that accordion!” the motivation isn’t, as you might imagine for the person to whom it is directed, to actually love God. No, it is more of a final appeal. “Don’t do (____) for me or for yourself or even for all of humanity but do this for the love of God!” But it does inadvertently point to the foundation of all of mankind’s actions and that being devotion to the holy One based upon a depth of gratitude.
These days we find ourselves in a new era where profanity has been overtaken by simple-minded vulgarity. People don’t swear as much as they used to by using God’s name in vain simply because they don’t think of Him. The common colorful terms used today are references to parts of the body or functions of the body. These days, the most popular words used to describe people or situations that we don’t like are referentially, homo mensura; man the measure of all things. That is telling in the sense that, as a culture, we have moved from people referring to a common awareness of obligation and reason attributed to an ultimate reality—God. But since deity has been replaced with Me, I’ll swear by my body, it’s functions, and even it’s discharges.
I suppose that the way people express their frustrations or deliver their curses upon others these days is more honest. They certainly are leaving God’s name out of their lazy way of communicating more now than they use to when I was a kid. But it is a sign that the Creator is not significant enough to them as a personal target for derogatoriness or as a last appeal to stifle the actions of others around them. Historians, anthropologists, and sociologists would agree with the local pastor that what has happened is a loss of the fear of God.
The fear of God comes only from, for the love of God, because He first loved us.
To know the love of God is only possible through the saving grace given to us through Jesus Christ. Everybody that is truly converted is to do everything to the glory of God and this is in every sense of the phrase, a labor of love.
So, while a few might still utilize the Prime Directive of affection in a blasphemous way, we actually are already “there” and very glad to be there.