Tuesday, February 05, 2013
What is Love?
One of the most popular subjects in song is love. One of the most popular bands of all time, if not the most popular band of all time is The Beatles. Here is a song mash of their songs by a tribute band that has 22 songs mashed in, all of them about love.
While the Beatles sang a lot about love and we often talk about it, do we really know what it means to love and to be loved?
February is the Love Month and the Bible gives a perfect definition of love, I would say it is even the best definition, and anything outside of the definition, really isn’t love.
1 Corinthians 13
1) If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2) If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3) If I give all I possess to the poor and gie over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8) Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10) but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12) For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. We live in an age and time where divorce is rampant and people opt out of marriage to live together as opposed to being married. Yet, we know that the commitment made in marriage, especially when the vows are kept, is the ultimate form of love that a loving couple can share with each other.
Unfortunately, people rely on love or what they think love is. More often than not it isn’t so much love as lust that we base our emotions on. We think we know what will keep us loving each other but it is only from following the definition of love in 1st Corinthians 13 that we learn how love will keep us together.
We often enter into relationships, whether a friendship, brother to sister type of relationship or a romantic relationship where we think we love one another, but we just aren’t sure. One thing I have learned in life, is there is a difference from thinking we are in love, or love each other, and knowing that we actually do love someone else.
Each of us has to come to an understanding of what love it and love with our all. Barry White gives a good definition of love when he sings of; Our First, Our Last, Our Everything. While a song about romantic love, it is also a good description of how we should love God.
We have to be at the place where we are given the option to love, either others as brothers and sisters, a loved one as a lover, and especially God as our father, where we give our best, we must give everything when we love others. Unfortunately, we tend to be selfish as opposed to loving others the way God would have us love, unconditionally with our all.
I have learned after 33+ years of marriage that there are times my love for my wife has to start over. We get into arguments, disagreements and so forth, I suspect it is that way for everyone whether a romantic relationship or a friendship brotherly, sisterly love. We have to be willing to start over with each other and sometimes, in our relationship with God.
Are we willing to admit our mistakes in life, especially when it comes to us loving others the way we should? Are we willing to take that definition given to us in 1st Corinthians 13 and apply it to our lives? If we want to experience the fullness of love, in our relationships with our friends and family, our loved ones, spouse, partners, etc…, even a love affair with God that allows us to experience His perfect love, maybe it is time we surrender and love the way God has instructed and shown us. Remember, out of faith, hope and love, there is no contest, the greatest of the three is without a doubt, Love!
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