Thursday, May 3, 2012

A New View of Love

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.     I Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)

There are many opinions about what love is - is it a verb, emotion, feeling, expression? The best definition I have found for love is from Voddie Baucham's book, Family Driven Faith, which says, "Love is  an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object" (57). This may sound complicated, but let's break it down a little bit. The world views love from a "Cupid" point of view. This view sees love as a force that is random, overwhelming, uncontrollable, and sensual- meaning we can't control who we fall in and out of love with or when it's going to happen and it's all based on romantic feelings. I don't think this is the kind of love the Bible teaches. This "Cupid" kind of love doesn't work in real life because it's not applicable to all relationships. If we really want to love our spouse, kids, friends and neighbors, we are going to have to change the way we think about and act out love. Based on the definition above, in order to love we must be willing to put others' needs/desires/wants in front of our own. It is a choice that has to be made daily (or sometimes moment by moment). This kind of love is not based on feelings that you may or may not have for a day or even season of life. Love is always about someone other than yourself. Consider how God loves us (John 3:16)...

Quote from: Baucham Jr., Voddie T., Family Driven Faith. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007.)

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