Many people don’t know what it really means to love.
What is the true definition of love? What does it mean to really love someone?
We need taught how to love. We need an example to follow.
We are told to love, but what does that actually look like to love?
Love produces results. Love requires action.
I get really frustrated when I hear Christians say, “The only command we have is to love.”
God’s Word tells us in 1 John 5: 2-3 says: “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands…”
So we see that love for God and love for one another equals obeying God’s commands.
So how can our only command be to love when the Bible clearly says love is obeying God’s commands? Commands being plural.
Jesus tells us:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command,” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching,” (John 14:23).
So again we see that love equals obeying God’s commands.
Jesus didn’t say they were the only commandments. He said the first and greatest, and the second.
Love Determines Actions
I also get frustrated when I feel like people are picked on for promoting the Ten Commandments: do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not covet your neighbor’s wife, do not give false testimony against your neighbor, do not murder, etc. (Exodus chapter 20).
Why not promote them?
If we love someone, we will not steal their husband. If we love someone, we will not make up lies about them. If we love someone, we will not murder them.
We are under grace but that does not change the meaning of love.
Romans 13:8-10 says:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
So when you say you love someone, take a look at how you are treating them. Do your actions, words and behavior line up with the true definition of love?
Don’t Rely on Feelings
It’s great when we feel love in our hearts. But what happens when we don’t feel it? Do we use that as an excuse not to love?
Love isn’t just some feeling. Sometimes true love means the right actions with no feelings at all.
We can’t let our feelings determine whether we will love. We can’t let our feelings determine what love is.
Sometimes love is a decision to do what is right and to treat people right. Sometimes love goes against a person’s feelings, for sometimes feelings deceive them into believing a lie about love. A single person could say they love a married person and therefore must have them. But that is a lie. It is not true love. True love would leave the married person alone to their spouse. A single person could say they love someone who is also single and want to sleep with them. But true love would be to commit their life to them in marriage before sleeping with them. Love is more than a feeling. It is treating a person right.
Loving an unborn baby means giving them a chance to be born and to live life. Anyone alive was given that chance to be born, so why should anyone have the right to take that away from anyone else? A woman may not feel like being pregnant. She may not feel like giving birth. But when she gives her baby that chance, she is choosing love.
Jesus said: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” (John 15:12-13).
When a woman continues her pregnancy and gives birth, she is laying down her life for her baby.
God is our example
God showed us His love by giving us His son:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).
God shows us how to love. He is our example. For after all, God is love and love comes from God. Want to learn more how to truly love? Study the life of Jesus by reading the Gospels and study how he treated people. How he loved people.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God,” (I John 4:7).