Do you ever think about how God’s definition of love looks nothing like our definition of love? We could blame Hollywood here, but let’s face it, Hollywood is a reflection of the way our society thinks. Based on what we see in our entertainment, our society has no idea what love really truly is.
When you think about it, we can’t really know, either… until we look at the Bible and let God tell us about it. His definition doesn’t come naturally to us. Any of us. As Christians, we ought to know, and I think we do in an academic sort of way. But when it comes to recognizing it in our daily lives, I know I fail to see what God really means by love quite often.
God is Love
God is love, so however He is would be the real way love is supposed to look, right?
All that gushy-mushy stuff that so many of us enjoy, the romance… the fluttery butterflies in the stomach, the sweaty palms, the racing heartbeat…
While romance is nice, and not sinful in and of itself, it’s also not the definition of real love in the Bible.
Seems as if the whole world is looking for real love. So many things in art and literature and yes, movies and TV shows, are all about that relationship everyone wants to have, that elusive real love. We’re all yearning for it and searching for it, like the carrot held just out of reach.
Redefining Love God’s Way
But what I forget sometimes is that God doesn’t hold love away from us. God’s love is offered freely, and He laid out exactly what it will look like, so I can recognize it when I see it. God’s idea of love is far different than mine. If I can recognize the lies of the devil, then I can figure out what God’s love really looks like.
The world tells us that love is a risk worth taking.
God tells us that love isn’t a risk, because love doesn’t need to be loved in return.
The world tells us that love is a roller coaster ride – something that takes you up and flings you around, leaving you feeling out of control, caught up in the emotion.
God tells us that love is a straight path, doing the right thing for the other person, always to be relied on, not scary or out of control at all.
The world tells us that love is fleeting, and can be lost if we’re not careful with it, if we don’t behave well enough to please the other person.
God tells us that love is enduring, never gives up on the other person even if the other person doesn’t deserve it.
The world tells us that love is chemistry, mysterious, completely indefinable.
God tells us that love is open and honest, visible, an action that can be looked at and understood.
The world tells us that love will compel me to say only what the other person wants to hear.
God tells us that love says the things that are necessary, approaches the hard things even if it’s not the easy thing to say.
Looking at it this way, the world’s definition of love doesn’t really look anything like God’s definition.
Real Love is Solid in Good Times and Bad
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, because God has been driving home to me that Love (God’s type of love) says the hard thing when necessary.
Not just speaking truth in correction, but also when there is a breach in a relationship. Love says something. Love confronts. Love tries to fix broken fellowship. Love not only doesn’t hold a grudge, love strives for forgiveness of someone else’s grudge.
Love doesn’t give up in order to avoid drama.
This is God’s love.
God isn’t afraid to tell me exactly what He wants me to know. He tells me when I’ve wronged Him. He listens when I need to tell Him my hurts and disappointments. God never shies away from my drama, and never stops reaching out when I’m having an attitude problem.
This is what it means to me when the Bible says God is Love.
What does God’s love mean to you? Have you experienced something that drives home God’s love for you?