Love is the most wonderful word ever spoken. The word conjures up pictures of good times – a hug from a parent, a first love (crush), a wedding day, etc. The word is used in almost every song and the world wishes we could all learn to love each other; for if we could, we would have no more war or oppression of those who are weaker. Yet love in all its usage is probably the most misunderstood term out there because the definition has not been defined in light of the One who is love.
Over this series, we have been trying to grasp hold of what the real definition of love looks and acts like. And we have come up with 3 Big Ideas thus far that will lead us in our thinking – 3 Big Ideas that will guide us in our response to the situations we are placed in everyday of our lives.
The first idea was that love must encompass what we do, which really puts our perspective onto others and onto the glorification of God. Love is not about me, but rather what’s best for the other person. Doing great, monumental things for mankind so that I might be praised means nothing. God says do all that you do so that through you the people of this world will give praise to God in Heaven. Let it be said of you that you do what you do because you love.
The second idea was that love cannot involve hate. We cannot say we love God, whom we cannot see, if we hate our brother, whom we can see. Will feelings of anger and distaste creep into our thoughts from time to time, especially when someone hurts us? Sure thing! But, love says we don’t hold onto these thoughts. Love says as Jesus said while being hung on the cross by His enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
The third idea was that love is an unconditional action. Love is not mere words for we know how words mean nothing unless they’re backed by some action. Jesus could have spoken of love all the time, but love didn’t take on its true meaning until he willingly allowed himself to be killed (sacrificed) on our behalf so that our relationship with God could be restored. Love requires action on our part without expecting anything in return. That’s tough, yet that’s what true love looks like.
Now before we get into the final Big Idea on love that will conclude this series, let’s revisit the scripture which shows us the picture of God and His love that He so wants to see in us as well.
Read 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
The fourth and final Big Idea on love is this: Love never fails.
You know, eventually faith and hope will no longer be needed. Why? Because this world will eventually be God’s once again, and will be made perfect.
The faith and hope we have now won’t be needed because faith believes in something that can’t be seen and hope gives us the strength and courage to believe in something yet to come.
There will be a day where all will see God and his children will no longer have to have faith that He is, nor hope any longer for His return. Faith and hope will become reality.
Love never fails. It’s simply because love has always been, and always will be. It simply will never fail because love is God.
Many people have shared with Caroline and I that Jayden is a pure expression of God’s love.
And though Jayden is human and has a will of her own – and believe me, we’ve seen a lot more of it lately in her telling us what she wants – I have to agree with them. In my unbiased opinion, even though she’s not perfect, she’s the closest thing I’ve seen to what love is all about. And so, even though I’m her dad, there’s a lot that I need to learn from her.
I think she displays and understands love in its truest form – it comes natural to her. When Caroline and I let ourselves, when we let our “self” get in the way of exemplifying true love to others, we don’t have to look far to see what we should be doing.
She knows no strangers. She says “Hi” to everyone as they pass by whether they acknowledge her or not. For those who take time to hold her, she tenderly hugs and kisses on them as if they were the most dearest and important person in this world. She gets hurt by others, but quickly forgets the pain. She has hurt others, but makes it all right. When she’s been disciplined for doing something wrong and the sobbing begins, the only thing that will take her out of this state, is to give her the opportunity to say she’s sorry. She says it in words along with a hug and a kiss. And once she does, life immediately returns back to where it was before she was disciplined. In Jayden, there is no envy, boasting, or pride. She’s not self-seeking or rude. She sees people for who they are, not for who they are not. She loves because she knows how to love – and it’s not with words, but with her actions.
Understanding love, true love, is the key component to happiness, peace, and joy. This kind of love when lived out makes our relationships with others, such as our spouses, our friends, our employers, etc., stronger and healthier. And who doesn’t want this? I know I do.
Jesus showed us this perfect love in his sacrifice. The Apostle Paul shows us the true picture of what God’s character looks like in our God-inspired text from the Bible. And today, we can exemplify this true love in our own lives by keeping these 4 Big Ideas in mind:
- Love must encompass what you do.
- It cannot involve hate.
- It is an unconditional action.
- And, most importantly, it never fails.
Thank you God for your love.