Hey, sweet girls! Love is often misrepresented in our culture. It’s promoted as a warm and fuzzy feeling associated with desire. But love is so much more than a feeling.
Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 about what love is and isn’t. For example, it’s patient and kind, and never jealous or boastful. I encourage you to read the whole verse if you’re not familiar with it. Paul’s words are so inspiring and saturated with truth that we’re prompted to want to love more and love well, right?
Christians are called to love, but we’re often confused about what love is. Here are some important truths about love that all Christians should know.
- It’s a virtue. Scripture calls for us to love our neighbors, love our enemies and love our spouses. That’s one love shared with people we know, people we don’t know and people who hurt us! How can we extend the same love to all of these people? We do it by understanding that love by itself is a virtue. It’s a demonstration of our goodness and morality.
- It’s reflected by our actions. 1 John 3:18 reads, “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” It’s one thing to say, “I love you,” but it means so much more to show that love. Just like the good Samaritan showed love to the man beaten on the side of the road. Love is reflected in our good deeds, our kindness, our forgiveness, our charity. It’s reflected in the way we treat people, whether they’re strangers in the street or our spouses.
- It’s not a feeling. We often equate so many other emotions with love. Yearning, passion, lust and joy are just some emotions that mask true love. But these are emotions in themselves. Love gets lost in them and so we assume them to be love. But love can be extended to everyone, no matter who they are and no matter how you’re feeling about them. You can show love to a person while feeling angry with them. To love is to show compassion regardless of the person or the result. This is why the love we have for a spouse is the same as the love we have for our parents or siblings. We may get all feathery in the stomach for a guy and we think that’s love. Or when we get married and experience the honeymoon stage when everything is just so perfect and romantic. But when the reality of life kicks in, after the honeymoon is over, during the arguments, that’s when those feelings fade and true love kicks in.
- It’s unconditional. I mentioned earlier that even when you’re angry with a person you love, you still love them, right? And so you should still extend the same kind acts that constitute that love. This means still showing love to someone who’s not being lovable or loving you in return, because as Christians, that’s what we’re called to do.
- It’s not easy to show. In fact, sometimes it can be very difficult! This is especially true when someone you love hurts you. Should you pull back on your love? Of course not! This doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to be abused. You can still love someone as you walk away. This is why love is a virtue and why it’s unconditional.
Ladies, do you have a story to share about love?