When I was a teenager I began to question, what is love? It seemed like a mystery to me. I remember thinking that love was something you could feel but there was no good way to define exactly what it was. I believed I knew from experience what love was, but I had no idea of how to explain it to anyone.
I suppose a lot of people have felt that way. Why else would people say “I think I’m in love.” Or on the other side of that, “I don’t think I love him/her anymore.” It sounds like it has always been a mystery when you hear so many different versions of, “well I like him/her, but I don’t know if I’m in love with him/her.” And then there is that thing people say when trying to explain how they feel by saying, “I do love him/her but I don’t think I’m IN LOVE with him/her, you know what I mean.” No, I can’t say I know what they mean when I hear that.
And it’s not just the people you talk to, it’s all over the music we listen to. Try to do some research on song lyrics that talk about love. You will find an endless supply of songs and a wide range of attempts to explain what love is.
One song that was a favorite for Janet and me back in the eighties was from the group Foreigner. The song was called, “I Want To Know What Love Is.” In the song, the message is about wanting to experience love and needing the other person to help you experience it. The very popular chorus of the song went like this,
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
And so for a long time I believed this idea of love, that it was something you could not define with words, you had to experience it with your feelings, and you needed the right person to help you feel it.
But then as I grew in my relationship with the Lord I began to understand love in a whole new way. And through the trials of our marriage problems and allowing the Lord to walk me through those trials I grew in my understanding of love even more.
Today I am very thankful to have grown in my understanding of love, to no longer think of it as some mysterious feeling that depends on someone else to show it to me. But to understand it now as the Bible teaches. That love is a command of action, it’s something we do, a verb.
Not one time does the Bible refer to love as something you only feel. Jesus said, “go love one another even as I have loved you.” And it is taught throughout scripture that we are to love God and love one another. Not by the way we feel but by the way we show it, by our actions.
Does that mean we are not supposed to feel it? No. It just means that we are not to let our feelings lead the way. When we show love, when we do loving things, when we invest our will to behave in a loving way, our feelings of love fall right in line.
What Love Is series
Just because I say that love is about our actions more than our feelings, that does not mean I have fully explained the meaning of love. The Bible also says that God is Love, and so to understand love we have to understand God. Or to understand God we have to understand Love. Either way, we can grow in our understanding of what love is and what the true nature of God is by diving into His word and discovering what the bible has to say about it.
For the next few weeks, I want to get into the word and dig into what the Bible teaches on love. We will start with the love chapter, 1 Cor. 13. And first, we will be specifically focusing on these verses.
Then as we continue on this series we will take a look at other verses and examples in the word. Also, we will take a look at some of today’s good teachings on the subject outside of the Bible, such as The 5 Love Languages: by Gary Chapman and How We Love: by Milan & Kay Yerkovich.
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