“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3
Songs are sung about it and poems written. People fall in and out of love. And most of us think we know what being in love means. But there are different kinds: love between friends, love for family and the romantic kind of love between a man and a woman. We use the word in so many different ways that we tend to water down the true meaning.
When we want to emphasize the way we like something we do it by saying we love this or that (ie. I love ice cream). But do we really understand what love is apart from the feeling? In my experience, my feelings aren’t always trustworthy.
This is what the Bible says about love:
“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
This is the blueprint. It implies a lifelong commitment, not a temporary arrangement. It means work and it means putting me, myself and I second…or third… or not considering my wants at all. It means not reacting immediately, but waiting until the smoke clears. Sometime it means doing nothing.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
I wonder what would happen in this world of quickie divorces if we chose to wait and endure for a little while longer? If we put our hope in a loving Creator and trusted the truth of God instead of the lies of this world?
The world’s idea of love is brash, careless, senseless and selfish. It cheapens. It degrades. It’s empty. I know the insecurity of trying to find love the world’s way and how it manifests itself in unrealistic expectations. What you get is anger, confusion, loneliness and—sometimes—shame.
I pray that as you read this you would ask God to teach you how to love the way He loves. Not just in the big things, but in the small ones as well. Break out of yourselves and smile. Speak a kind word to the person taking your food order, give a hug to a friend, or hold the door for someone. These may not be great declarations of love, but they show people you care. Small acts of love are important.
True love is more than just a feeling. It’s an action—one that has little to do with what we get in return.
My greatest joy in life is my marriage. My husband doesn’t always remember to bring me candy on Valentine’s day or get me a card. What he does do is show me how he loves me in a million different ways. He respects my opinion, shares his pie and makes me laugh. I can depend on him no matter what and he can depend on me. God put us together. Our mutual love for Jesus Christ—and choosing daily to love each other as God intended—keeps us together.
“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13b
The greatest love of all is not learning to love yourself—as Whitney Houston sang. The greatest love of all is God’s love for us. He loves us so much, He died for us. He took our just punishment and gave us grace instead.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
by Eve Montano