In a world where most don’t know true love… where the meaning of love is misunderstood and where some come up with their own definition of it… in a world where the word “love” is commonly misused… who do you go to and where do you turn to learn what love really is?
THE WORD OF GOD
Many fail to realize that love is an action not a feeling (when you look at the Biblical definition).
The world would have us to believe that love is “an intense feeling of deep affection”. The world would have you to believe that love “is a game”.
I believe that that’s why some relationships fail and others leave broken hearts. We don’t fully understand what love is so we aren’t able to recognize what love is or isn’t.
That’s awful if love is just an “intense feeling”. How dreadful! Uncontrollable situations in life will occur and change emotions at times, it’s inevitable. There’ll be times when your significant other will make you mad, frustrate you, and or irritate you. So what? Now you don’t love your significant other because your emotions have changed?
Emotions are so unstable and varying. I would hate for someone’s love towards me to depend on their emotions. That is something that I can’t control and something that they can’t even fully control. Emotions change. I don’t know anyone who can control their every emotion. Some people may be able to control how long the emotion lasts or what they do with the emotion but they can’t always control what emotions come.
That’s why I’m so glad that the true definition of love is not “an intense emotion” but intense action- love is a verb.
Love is one of the most misused words in the world. People throw it around without even beginning to understand it- I have been guilty of this.
In English, we use the word “love” to describe our feelings about everything from chocolate cake to an outfit at the mall to our friends to the significant person in our lives and more! However, in Greek (which is the language that the New Testament is primarily written in) there are three different words that translate “love”:
- “Agapao” – This word is a verb used to describe God’s divine love. The noun is “apape.” An example is John 3:16, “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) This is the action of totally being committed to the well-being of others without regard for their worthiness – even unto death. That love was demonstrated by Jesus when He suffered and died for our sins. We, as Christians, are to show that unselfish love to others.
- “Phileo” – This word, translated “love”, refers to fervent love for another person. Jesus, when challenging Peter in John 21:15-17 asked, “Do you agape Me more than the other disciples?” Peter replied, “Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love (phileo) Thee” This was his response four times to Jesus’ questions. Peter never used the word “agapeo” in response to Jesus’ questions.
- “Eros” – This is a noun and refers to physical and sexual love.
If the English language had 3 different words for love, like the Greek, it would be much easier to decipher between the three. We would be able to understand better the extent of someone’s love for us and our love for another.
The Bible describes and defines love many times over- it even gives examples of love, but its definitions and examples of love are not emotions.
We are all familiar with Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 3:16 and 1 John 4:7-10 but have we ever really read them as definitions of love? Have we ever slowly read through them verse by verse, word by word? These definitions of love are ACTIONS, sacrifices, commitments, God!
Intense emotion may and often does follow the acts of love but emotions are not love themselves.
The Bible defines love as commitment and sacrifice. Love is patient and is not jealous. Love doesn’t grow angry or keep records of wrong. Love is kind and unselfish. Love is all of these things, but it is not an emotion. (I know I keep saying it but I’m trying to reiterate this truth because the false definition has been instilled in us for so long.)
Sometimes people tell us they love us when they really don’t. They don’t mean to lie, they are just mistaken and confused. By the worldly definition, they do love us, but by God’s definition they don’t.
The world’s definition is not safe or secure. It’s superficial and leaves love up for alteration and interpretation (or misinterpretation). The worldly definition gives room for love to fade, change, or die along with our feeling of “intense emotion”. By the Biblical definition, love never dies… it never fails… it is long suffering… it never gives up. The love of God is sacrificial and steadfast.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I would much rather have someone love me based on God’s definition and Christ’s example than by the world’s definition and their emotions.
A love built on wavering emotions is a love that is wavering. A love based on the unwavering Word of God is a love that is UNWAVERING.
The next time you wonder if your significant other truly loves you as they should, read the Bible, look to God’s definition and example of love and look at Christ’s sacrifice. If they lack one of those things, they don’t love you to the full potential that God has called us to love each other for every tittle of God’s Word remains true.
Does he/she cherish you? Pray for you? Treat you how God would have him/her treat you? Care for you in the same way he/she cares for his/her own body? Inspire you to follow the Lord? Is his/her love forgiving and unconditional?
If he/she doesn’t do these things, then by Biblical definition, he/she doesn’t truly love you.
Let us strive to love others in the way that Christ laid out. Let us make it a priority to love the way that God loves.
The world’s definition of love is too superficial and leaves you vulnerable. I want a love that is deep, clear, pure and unchanging. I want a love that protects. How about you?
Is the love based on the Word or is it just based on the world???
Let the Word be your relationship goals.