Love – What Does It Mean To Love?

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).

Jesus also said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love,” (John 15:9-10).

So again we see that love equals obeying God’s commands.

Look at what Jesus tells us in Matthew 22 after he was asked, “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”

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).

(For more on love, please read I John 4:7I John 5:5 and I Corinthians 13.

Saving Sex For Marriage

Fountain

Recently I read a blogpost about “virgin shaming.” The author known as BeautyBeyondBones expresses her feelings: “I know that my virginity is nothing to be ashamed of, and truthfully, it gives me so much joy and peace to know that I will be able to give that to my future husband one day…” She also mentions “confidence and assuredness in my decision to remain a virgin until marriage.”

BeautyBeyondBones asks: “Will it be a deal breaker for some guys? Yes. Probably most guys. But not for the guy. Not for the right guy.”

Also saw a TV clip of Alicia Jay sharing how at 35 she was still a virgin. Beautiful, confident and calm, there was no sense of shame or embarrassment in her admission. She explained that at age 16, she had made the decision to save sex for marriage and hadn’t gotten married yet. Simple as that. No long explanations with feelings of needing to defend her virginity. It was refreshing. Inspiring. There was a confidence and light in her face. A Fox News article shares:  “Faith is a huge part of Alicia Jay’s life and it is her Christian values that led to her decision to remain a virgin until her wedding night.”

In the article Alicia shares: “Faith is the driving force in my life and without God, I wouldn’t be anything. He is the center and he leads me in anything that I do.” The article states: “At 36, Alicia is still waiting for the right guy to come along. She says dating is very hard for her not only because of her height, but also because she is a virgin.” Alicia says, “In general, it’s really hard to date right now but you add in height and waiting to have sex for marriage and guys run for the hills,” she said. “The virginity thing, I’m just here to say it’s still an option because a lot of people don’t even think it’s an option anymore.”

Grammy award winning singer Rebecca St. James was well known for her advocacy and decision to save sex for marriage. Many may remember her song on the topic appropriately called “Wait For Me.” After marrying in her 30’s, Rebecca joined me on Soul Check TV to discuss the topic just months after her wedding.

In the most recent episode of Soul Check TV, Duck Dynasty star Sadie Roberston and I encourage single viewers to practice abstinence until marriage, as God teaches in the Bible. Sadie encourages those who haven’t remained a virgin not to run away from God, but to run towards Him and His forgiveness.

Every single person – virgin or not – can make a decision to save sex for marriage. God’s mercies are new every morning. Each person can have a fresh start.

It’s such an important message – for girls and guys – people of all ages.

God knows our hearts. He created us, He created relationships, He created sex and He knows the best for us and for marriages is to save sex for marriage.

Virginity is not something you need to apologize for. It is a precious gift to be protected and valued, otherwise so many wouldn’t want to steal it. In many people it is a sign of deep faith. Of valuing one’s self. Of valuing their future spouse. Of caring how their actions affect the people around them and their future children. Virginity is nothing to be embarrassed about. Obedience to God always comes with rewards.

There are dangers to sleeping around, beyond the emotional, spiritual and relationship dangers.

One story that impacted my views was that of a young woman whose mother came to visit our youth group. She came to speak on behalf of her daughter, who had a one night stand in a hotel while vacationing in Hawaii. That night the daughter contracted AIDS, from which she died. Yet the mother and daughter wanted her story to warn people and encourage them to save sex for marriage.

So no matter what other people are saying or doing, there is nothing to be ashamed about virginity and saving sex for marriage. Especially when the reason is because you love God enough to obey Him.