What is Love?
1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Quote from Pray While You’re Prey:
“I realize that I have to know and love all that is good about me in order to attract people who are good for me.”
It is an age-old question…what is love? What does love mean? What does it mean to love someone? What does is meant o be in love? There have been songs and sonnets, poems and prose written on the subject of finding the true meaning of love. People search their whole entire lives trying to know love, show love, and be loved by someone. Many times, love is viewed as some ever-elusive fantasy that is simply unattainable. Often times, love is equated with a person with whom one shares an intimate relationship. But, the true meaning of love is not found in the dictionary or by some life quest for it; the meaning is found in the instruction manual for life: the Bible.
Perhaps, we ask the wrong questions. Maybe we should not ask, “What is love?” but rather, “Who is Love?” You see, the Bible explains that God is love. It is that simple, yet we make it so complex. Because we know that God is love, we need to love no further than His character to know all about love. Love is a verb, not a noun; it requires action. Love is sacrifice. Love is putting others’ needs before yours. Love is forgiveness. Love is kindness. Love is patience and endurance. And, how do I know that this is love? Because God is love and He does all of these things towards me and all of His children.
In many of the secular songs about love, love is either equated to sex or being hurt. That is not God’s love. That is the world’s love. The adage “You always hurt the ones you love” should not ring true for the Christian. This should not be the standard because the Bible clearly says that if you do not love you do not know God. Willingly hurting someone is not showing love. It is one thing to make a mistake, realize the mistake, repent and seek forgiveness; however, to repeatedly disregard someone’s feelings or well-being is the behavior modeled by the prince of darkness, not the Prince of Peace.
On the contrary, the famous line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry…” is also a misnomer. We are human and we will make mistakes. In order to be forgiven, we must recognize when we have treated someone badly. Sometimes, the person we need to apologize to the most to, after God, is ourselves. How can you know love and be loved if you cannot love yourself? This is not about being conceited, narcissistic, selfish or self-involved; it is about loving yourself enough to treat your whole self well. It is about embracing the awesome gifts that God has given you for the uplifting of His Kingdom.
At times, we focus so much on being figuring out what love is and how to attain it that we forget the simple truth that God is love. If we live following His example, loving others, and loving ourselves, we will have a level of contentment that will allow us to accept whatever God has for our lives. Does that mean you will never get lonely? Absolutely not; nonetheless, when those times come, the Supplier of ALL of your needs is still there for you, loving you and embracing you, if you let Him. He is love, and, in His appointed time, if it is His will, you will love and be loved by someone who is worthy of who God has made you to be.
Thank You, God for being the very existence of Love
and for giving us so many examples of what true love is.
Please forgive me for not loving myself or others
the way that you have taught us to love.
Lord, please help me to show and to be love
so that others may see You in me.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©1984, unless otherwise indicated.