What Does the Bible Say About Love?
Written by Jenn Arman | July 8, 2014
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?
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