Yesterday, in the midst of my Valentine's Day preparations (we celebrate V-Day when my husband gets home from work), I started really thinking about love & what it means to love. As I was reflecting on this, it really started to bother me that I so often equate love with a mushy-gushy feeling. It's like a habitual cycle with-in my brain that automatically happens when I hear the word "love." Love = a mushy feeling.
And I know that love is so far beyond teenage romantic butterflies & mushy feelings, but it was bothering me that I was having trouble answering the question I was posing to myself...
So, after a few minutes of trying to define it myself, I decided to go to the love dictionary...my Bible.
Who better to define love than the one who made it.
And this is what I read:
Love is patient and kind;
Love does not envy or boast;
It is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
But rejoices with truth.
Love bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.
Love never ends
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
As I thought about this, I was reminded that the One who was defining love for me, is the one who calls Himself, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." In fact, he repeatedly says that exact phrase about Himself over & over throughout His word. He even tells us in 1 John 4, "love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God an knows God...In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
As I reflected on God's example of love in the giving of His Son for the sin of the world, and as I reflected on the words above (from 1 Corinthians) I realized that love is so much more than a feeling. Love is about action. God did not define His love for us using terms that described how he "feels" toward us. He defined it in terms that describe how He "acts" toward us. Again, love is about action. Love is seeking the well-being or the benefit of another. Love is about seeking that person's well-being or benefit above our own. Love is a choice. It's a choice of the will and a commitment to act in ways that promote the good of another person. It's a matter of the heart.
I pray that my definition of love might become more in line with this one. I pray that I would be thankful for the mushy feelings I get to experience toward my husband, b/c they are indeed a gift from God. But more than that, I pray that when I hear the word "love," I begin to equate it with the realization that love is about the other person, not about me.
May the rest of your week, be filled with a truer understanding of the vast depths of love; the kind of love God has toward us & the kind of love He calls us to have toward each other.
Happy Valentine's <3