Needless to say, the love popular culture exposes us to in TV scripts, plays, books, movies, social media, etc…, is not what God had in mind when He created love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)
How many times a day, an hour, do we fail at this Biblical definition of love? The Bible sets a standard for love. A standard that was only perfectly done once – to eternally save us. Think about the display of love on the cross. God loved us so much, that even when we kept sinning against him, He sent Himself in the flesh to show us how to love. Jesus lived a perfect life of love on His journey to the cross for the ultimate display of love.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NIV)
With Jesus as our model, we learn that love is sacrificial. The biggest display of love is not the act of being married, not the act of buying every material thing for someone, but giving oneself up for another person.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
Love is not a feeling, but a choice followed by action. Even when we don’t feel like it, we have to lay down our feelings of how we think we should love and love like God has called us to. Choose to be patient — even when feelings of agitation come up. Choose to honor — even when criticism wants to spill out. Choose to hope — even when feelings of doubt are all around.
What can you do for those you love today?