Summary: Defining love has become difficult in our society. True love must originate with God and reflect through our lives.
Love For a Lifetime
Love is a word that has become obscure and ambiguous in our day. It is often talked about but seldom is it clearly defined. Love is what some have called a “weasel-word.” Love may mean anything, or nothing. It has lost its moorings and stands for “what I want” – a most deceptive concept and a despotic tyrant. The Greek language has a number of words for social relationship which English in its poverty translates into one word: LOVE. And the definition that our human hearts seek is not found at the end of every one of “love’s beckoning rainbows.”
In our effort for definition we sometimes try to prove our love by doing good works, and helping one another. We spend countless hours trying to convince those around us how good we can be.
There was one young man who was determined to win the affection of a certain woman. The woman would not talk to him, or even acknowledge him. He decided that she could not ignore him forever if he wrote one letter a day. For months she got seven letters a week from him. When she did not respond he increased his output of letters. He wrote three letters a day. Over all he wrote her almost seven hundred letters. After some months she married the mailman.
We spend lifetimes trying to develop our capacity to love in our humanness. What we are taking part in is an exercise in futility. The Scriptures tell us that real love comes from God. It originated with Him in the beginning, and it inhabits our hearts through Him. Whether you are a single person, entering into marriage, or have been married for years the truth remains that the greatest love that can be given does not come from our own hearts. It originates with God and is displayed through the lives that we live under His guidance and direction.
You see, when the Bible teaches us to love – especially to the love that is necessary within a marriage – it is not teaching a human lust. It does not teach man-conceived obsession, or untamed passion of the heart of man. The Bible teaches a love and care that comes from the heart of God. It teaches a love that puts a spouse ahead of your own desires. It teaches us to relate to one another with the same affection and love that God shows to each of us.
Love begins in the word of God…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What God gave us from the beginning was not a static word, or a dead law. He gave us a word that embodied His love for us when He gave us THE WORD, Jesus Christ. He is dynamic and powerful. He has overcome sin, He has overcome death, He has overcome the curse that the very God of heaven put on this world, and He has overcome the hate and violence that are the result. God sent the embodiment of His commands in the person of Jesus to model for us what it means to love.
In human terms, love for something is based on how it serves us. The word of God defines for us a culture that goes against that of the world. As we study and learn His word we find a kingdom – you could call it a sub-culture, or a counter-culture - where each member considers the well-being of the others. A kingdom that is not based on material wealth, or worldly things but on our desire to live in an ever-growing relationship with our King and our Lord and to bring others to that relationship.
The Word is not just an old dusty book (or it shouldn’t be), it reveals the very character and nature of a God whose love is overwhelming. One who has made provision for us to live a life that shows love for Him, as well as for one another. God has shown us such love in His Word that we must simply mirror the same love that we witness from Him to our spouse. The Apostle Paul commands husbands to “love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
The Bible defines love for us by showing us what it means to give of ourselves for others. Scripture tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. God’s Son did not die out of obligation, but out of love. Jesus did not make a sacrifice for our sins because God needs us, but because He wants us. He desperately loves us. He treasures us, and waits with great anticipation for us to join Him for all eternity. But in the mean time He gives His love to us as a father. He nurtures us and cares for us, and prepares us to model His love to others.