What True Love Is All About
The General Knowledge of Love
Life is full of relationships. Relationships are composed of many variables or say ingredients, and these may include friendship, sexual intimacy, family tides, business partners, and of course, love. But I would like to focus on this one thing called love because I believe it’s the greatest variable of life. It’s that which binds relationships in a strong and solid manner. It’s an intense feeling of euphoria and deep affection for someone or something one is fond of.
Love connotes a deep emotional feeling which sometimes is very difficult to explain. Today, I would like to tackle one of the most searched questions, ‘the meaning of true love.’ Many times we do not understand what true love is, yet we're blindly convinced that we do. Meanwhile, the answer to this can only be found in the Book of Truth—The Bible.
I specifically chose the Bible as my reference material because it’s actually a story of love. Every passage (if I am not overemphasizing) of the Bible is pointing to love. It has many definitions of love although they point to one meaning, and I would like to base my argument on these definitions, so let’s get started.
"Love is not lust. They are absolutely different. Love is unconditional and lust is conditional"— Ernest Festus Awudey
Jesus stretched out his hand of love on a hardwood in order to save you...what are you doing for him in return?— Ernest Festus Awudey
The Biblical Definitions of Love
- The first definition of Love is that 'God is Love': The Bible says that God is the embodiment of love. He is full of love. 1 John 4:16,17 says "So we know and believe the love of God for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us...". From this passage, we see that the very essence of God is love. It means that God can literally be called Love. That sounds interesting right? John 3:16 puts it this way, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son..." I mean, that is more than true love.
- Fast forward to another definition of True Love the Bible talks about, that 'True Love is a fruit of the Spirit' : In Galatians 5: 22, the Bible teaches us that love is a fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside the believer and so this means that true love flows from inside out. It is a deep, deep affection. I mean an intrinsic feeling. This kind of love, the Bible says, casts out fear. Thus there's no fear in love—true love.,
- Ultimately, Jesus Christ convincingly defines true love in a remarkable way. He said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"—John 15:13. Here, Jesus did not mention brother or sister or father or mother or spouse. It would have made the statement a bit reasonable to the human ear and mind. Rather Jesus, with the primary purpose of defining true love, made reference to friends. A friend, by definition, is someone other than your family member, spouse or lover. You only have some form of affection for him or her and you like their company. That is it. So the hard truth is how can you possibly die for a freind? Moreover, the friends Jesus is talking about here are you and I—broken, sinful, wicked and perverse, yet Jesus said that is true love. He didn't just taught it, he demonstrated it by dying on the cross. The kind of love Jesus displayed is called in Greek 'Agape'—the highest form of love.
What Are The Characteristics of True Love
Now that we had a gist of what real love is, let's examine a few but powerful characteristics of love.
- True love is uncaused and unconditional: Agape love does not tread on any cause or condition—not one. That's what qualifies it to be the highest form of love. Many times we attach love to certain conditions of life such as beauty, behavior, skill, health, and what have you. This makes us love mainly 'because of' such things. We love because of. True love is not 'because of' but 'inspite of' . God loves us inspite of who we are and what we do. When you love because of a condition, say beauty, and that beauty ceases to exist, then the love also fades automatically. On the other hand, because God loves us inspite of, that love never fades. Romans 5:8 puts it this way, "But God commended His love towards us, that when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God's love—true love—is unconditional and uncaused.
- Typically, Paul brought to bear in a more concise and excellence manner, the beautiful nature of true love in his letter to the Corinthians, " Love (true love) is patient and kind; love is not boastful or jealous; it's not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it's not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. True love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. It's perennial." This is precisely how we know true love.
This is how we know true love, Jesus gave up his life for us.
This is how we show true love, we ought to lay down our lives for our friends.
© 2020 Ernest Festus Awudey