By: Jesse Deloe
Is there any subject that has more poetry, novels, and music than love? You would think with all that literature there would be some common understanding of the term—and that life in general would be characterized by genuine caring and affection.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why? Most likely, it’s because we don’t really understand what love is. Some think of it in terms of spooning under the moon by the lagoon in June. That’s romantic, and undoubtedly many wives would agree that there should be more of it. Perhaps on special anniversaries or on Valentine’s Day, husbands will treat their wives with the tenderness, sweetness, and romance they crave all year.
A 10-year-old boy wrote an essay on love:
What is love? Love is something that makes two people think they are pretty even when nobody else does. It also makes them sit close together on a bench even when there’s plenty of room. It’s something that makes two people very quiet when you are around, and when they think you’re gone, they talk about roses and dreams. And that’s all I know about love until I grow up.
The key words in the little boy’s essay are “grow up.” Happiness in a loving relationship requires maturity and commitment. Too often, both are lacking in today’s marriages. We often think of love only as an emotion—if we don’t “feel” like we’re in love anymore, we think it’s okay just to bail out of the relationship.
The Bible says a lot about love. It teaches that human love lives on what it receives, while divine love lives on what it gives. It is not something that one falls into; it is something that one decides to do. Love is an action word. It is an act of the will, a choice. Shakespeare also recognized that love is meaningless apart from performance. He wrote, “They do not truly love who do not show their love.”
The greatest example of love, of course, is demonstrated in the sacrifice that Jesus paid for the world that God loves. Likewise, the measure of our sacrifice on behalf of a loved one is the measure of our love.
“Be imitators of God…as dearly loved children and live a life of love.” Ephesians 5:1-2