Oh wow! Have I ever just sent myself back a few years in preparation for today’s post! How could I possibly write about love without thinking about a jillion silly love songs?! Songs like, What About Love by Heart; When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge; I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner, What’s Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner and a plethora of other songs that make your heart melt.
I obviously just dated myself, but throughout the years love has been the principal pursuit of the soul. Not just the stuff songs are made of, but the stuff life is made of.
We were made to love and be loved. We were made for relationship.
But our view of love is skewed by our life experiences as well as our own fleshly desires. In human terms, we often make love about ourselves. We say, “I love you” because of the way they make us feel. We love them because when we are with them we aren’t alone or afraid. Our union with them gives us a feeling of value…a feeling like, “someone loves me.”
I remember hearing a line in a movie (can’t remember which movie) where the leading man looks to the woman and says, “You complete me.” And while that’s actually somewhat biblical, I think the gist of it is that you make me feel whole. It’s more about the need one has to be complete than it is about the desire to complete the other person.
I know this doesn’t sound like the most romantic description of love, but if we really want to know what love is, we should define it properly. Love is much more than a feeling (yeah- I know, that’s a Boston song) 🙂 – it’s a verb that is described by doing what is best for the one who is loved.
Sounds a lot more sacrificial and intentional than a feeling doesn’t it?
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that…
“God is love.”
But that verse begins by saying…
“Anyone who does not love does not know God.”
He describes love as sacrificial and unconditional….
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
1 John 4:19 tells us it was God who initiated our love for Him…
“We love Him because He first loved us.”
1 John 3:17-18 Reminds us that the essence of love is not found in what we say, it is manifested by what we do.
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
In fact, Jesus calls us to a radical kind of love!
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!”