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Christian Life

What Does the Bible Say About Love?

Girls, did you know that God’s love for us isn’t based on emotion? That might sound a little weird, but let me tell you, this is something that I’m truly thankful for.

When we think about love, we usually think about an emotional or romantic response. Recently, I decided to do some research on what the Bible has to say about love and what I learned was a little surprising.

The Bible uses the word “love” more than 300 times total. Throughout the whole Bible, however, the word most often translated as “love” is the Greek word agape (pronounced ah-GAH-pay).

Agape is an interesting word because it doesn’t have anything to do with either romantic or emotional love. According to Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of the Words in the Greek New Testament, agape means “love; affection; benevolence. This is not the love drawn out by any excellency in its objects. It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice made without cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.”

Scripture confirms this definition of love in Deuteronomy 7:7-8:

The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, for the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

In more plain terms, agape means that God made (and continues to make) a deliberate choice to love us. His love isn’t based on emotions or on what we do, which is awesome because it assures us that God won’t stop loving us if He gets frustrated or upset with us.

I don’t know about you, but that is great news for me!

But now, if God’s love (and by extension, Jesus’s love) isn’t based on how He “feels,” then what does that mean for us when Jesus says that we’re to love God with everything and love our neighbor as ourselves?

I kept studying, and the truth is this: Our love for God and our love for others is supposed to be like that of Christ.

Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

The word “love” used in this verse is the root word for agape (agapao), and both words mean the same thing. Jesus gave us a new command and that command is to love other people as a deliberate choice, not an emotional feeling. He makes a deliberate choice to love us and expects us to do the same by relying on the power of His Spirit.

So girls, the next time you’re having a hard time “feeling” love for someone, make a deliberate choice to love them and rely on God’s Spirit to help you, then ask God to help you see that person the way He sees them.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

Girls, did you know that God’s love isn’t based on emotions? Isn’t that great news?

More Stories Like This on Project Inspired:

9 Ways to Use Your Summer for Good
Struggling with Pride? Then You Need to Read This!
When Evil Comes Too Close to Home: the Power of Prayer

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3 Comments

  1. Beautiful_You

    Posted by Beautiful_You on July 10, 2014 at 13:26

    Wrote this blog post a few weeks ago addressing this…..

    Today I want to talk about love. Not the kind of love that is associated with “being in love” or having a crush, but genuine love.

    Love is such a cliché word in our culture that I think we have begun to forget what it actually means. We use “love” to describe how much we love a TV show, we use “love” to say how much we enjoy pizza, we use “love” in so many ways.

    Synonyms for love include: tenderness, fondness, predilection, warmth, passion, or adoration. I think all those things describe love, but I also think there is more to it than that. I do not think these things even begin to define what love really is.

    I think love in more than an emotion. It is an action. It is not defined by circumstances or human whim. It is not defined by what you can get out of someone, nor physical appearance. It isn’t something you can fall in and out of. It isn’t defined by sex or by how much someone flatters you. It is not something to be taken lightly. These are the things love is not. So, what IS love?

    “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    Love is about what you give. It is about when beauty, health, sexual indulgence, and all other material things fade, it is what endures. Why? Because your love for that person is not based on any temporary thing. Sure, you may love how someone looks, but would you still love them if they were to become sick or old and wrinkled? Yes, you may love how someone does something; maybe how they treat you or always do something a certain way, but would you be okay if they stopped doing that thing or no longer had the ability to do that thing?

    Love is a serious matter, my friends! When we doubt what true love is, we need look no farther than Jesus Christ Himself. Only when we know Christ and His love can we effectively love others the way God intends us to!

    Then I listened to an awesome sermon by Josh McDowell that discussed this in even more detail! Totally worth it…….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQQ39J0EM7A&app=desktop

  2. Paris

    Posted by Paris on July 10, 2014 at 11:05

    (1 John 4:8 ) Whoever does not love does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE. I know this quite a used verse when it comes to this topic,but it speaks volumes.

  3. PrincessLiz

    Posted by PrincessLiz on July 8, 2014 at 12:31

    Wow. This was wonderful! I really enjoyed reading this. It is so amazing that God is faithful to love us despite our mistakes… So many times we confuse what Hollywood defines as “Love” with what the bible describes as true love. This has greatly enlightened and inspired me. 🙂