What is love? One search engine on the Internet indicated over one billion searches have been made for that question. The music group Foreigner hit number one on the charts several years ago with their song “I Want to Know What Love Is”. No matter if we are single or married, or young or old, we want to know what love is.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “a feeling of a strong or constant affection for a person”. What if that feeling slips away over time? What if that feeling is for more than one person, especially after we are married, then what?
The Scriptures say, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised” (Song of Solomon 8:7). God speaks of love in this particular context as a strong romantic affection between a man and a woman. It might be when you think about and want to be with that person, and are mysteriously drawn to him or her. Let us call this desire. There is good desire (or affection) and bad. When we have this desire for someone outside of marriage, it is bad. It should be kept within the boundary of the husband and wife relationship. When desire turns into immoral lust, it is bad. We know it is lust (and not true love) when we are driven by our insatiable dreams and our physical obsession for another person. The test of bad desire is, “I want for me.” The test of good desire is, “I want so I can serve and bless another person.”
How can we find real love? It starts with the author of love Himself, God. He created the first man and woman, brought them together and presided over their marriage. The Scriptures say “God is love” (1 John 4:8). How did He demonstrate that love? When He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die upon a cross for you and me that we might call upon Him for the forgiveness of our sins, it was real love.
Genuine love starts at affection then moves on to sacrificial service. It is not about what I am getting, but what I am giving. It is not if I am saying the right words, but if I am listening with the right heart. It is not about what I am feeling, but how I am serving.
May God be your hope for today as you seek for and live out true love.