Summary: In this sermon, we explore what love is and conclude that love is a decision and love is what we do.
A. The story is told of a husband and wife, who had been married for many years and who were having dinner one night.
1. As they ate, the wife commented, “When we were first married, you took the small piece of meat and gave me the larger piece, but now you take the large one and leave me the smaller one. I’m afraid you don't love me any more.”
2. The husband quickly and adamantly replied, “Nonsense, darling, I love you just as much or more than I did back then. The reason I now take the larger piece of meat is not because I love you less, but because you are a much better cook now than you were back then!”
B. Love, Love, Love…It can be such a confusing thing, can’t it?
1. Just what is love?
2. How do I know I am in love or if I am acting in love?
3. How do I know if others love me?
4. These are some of the questions that I hope we can address today.
C. We are in a sermon series called “All You Need Is Love!”
1. So far we have learned that love is the most important thing, and that it is the key to everything.
2. We also have learned that God is love and is the source of love.
3. But after establishing those two truths, it is time to define and explain what real love is.
D. As you know so well, we use the word “love” a lot, but it is often overused, misused, and misunderstood.
1. According to Amazon.com, there are at least 32,507 books currently in print with the word “love” in the title, and over 145,000 books that deal with the subject of love.
2. There are over 11,000 popular albums/CDs with “love” in the title.
3. And there are at least 121 million web-sites that use the world “love” as one of their key words.
E. So we can see that love is an important subject to all of us, but do we really know what love is?
1. First of all, let’s consider some wrong ideas about love.
I. What Love is Not.
A. The first false idea about love is that “love equals romance.”
1. Many people move from one relationship to another and describe them all as love, but were they really in love?
2. Most of the popular songs of any generation have to do with so called love.
a. 1976 was a very good year for love songs achieving the #1 position on the Billboard Top 100. First there was “Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players, followed by Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Love Machine” by the Miracles, “Let Your Love Flow” by the Bellamy Brothers, “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross and the longest-running “love” No. 1 of the year, Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Silly Love Songs.”
b. More recent #1 love songs include Usher’s “Love in This Club” (2008) and Rihanna’s “We found Love” (2011-2012). I probably would not recognize either of those songs if I heard them, which tells you how behind the times I am.
3. Most popular “love” songs are about romance, at best, and lust or illicit sex, at worst.
4. Love and romance are not the same thing.
B. A second false idea about love is that “love is a feeling.”
1. Some of us from an older generation will remember B.J. Thomas’ song “Hooked on a Feeling.” (I’m hooked on a feelin’, high on believin’ that you’re in love with me.)
2. Thomas’ words sum up the idea that love is an emotion which gives us the warm fuzzies, or goose-bumps.
3. One person defined love as “a feeling you feel when you’re about to feel a feeling you never felt before.”
4. If love is only a feeling we feel, then what happens when the feelings come and go?
5. Some of you will remember the old Righteous Brothers’ song, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling.” The chorus went like this: You've lost that lovin' feeling, Whoa, that lovin' feeling, You've lost that lovin' feeling, Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooooooh.
C. A final false idea about love is “love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
1. I’m dating myself again by illustrating this point with the 1970 classic movie “Love Story” starring Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal.
2. The famous line from the movie is “love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
3. In other words, love means never being critical or having accountability.
4. Love, so it goes, never takes a hard stand, it is devoid of truth.
5. Love is just a soft, mushy thing with no expectations or boundaries.
D. So these are some wrong ideas about love and where do these ideas come from? The world and the media, right?