“Love” is one of the most loosely-used words in the English language. This creates a lot of confusion about what true love really is. In 1 Corinthians 13:8, the apostle Paul said, “Love never fails.” Yet many times couples will say they have fallen out of love with one another. Such an attitude shows that they never really understood how God defines love.
Most people think of love as a strong, warm feeling of affection for someone or something. Certainly there is an emotional aspect to love. Between spouses, there are even romantic feelings. But in the Bible, love is not just something one feels, it is a decision of the will to help others even if one must sacrifice of oneself to do so. That’s how God and Christ love us and that’s how we should love others. In 1 John 3:16-18, we read, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” In Scripture, love is a verb. It is shown in how we live and in how we treat others (1 Cor. 13:4-8).
So it is not enough just to say, “I love you” (although we certainly should say that to our loved ones). We must back those words up with genuine, loving actions. When we consistently treat others with kindness, respect, and love, the right feelings will naturally follow. Let us resolve to be truly loving people.
Travis L. Quertermous
Dexter church of Christ