One of the greatest teachings on love is spelled out beautifully in 1 Corinthians 13:4. The biblical verse reads, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (NIV). Love has been described a million ways, but this verse sums it up in one line. Certainly, searching the word “love” in Google will list a plethora of quotes, definitions, songs, movies, and art about love. There are just so many things that have been said about it.
For instance, when you say, “God is love”, people will see it as another cliché. But even so, if you want to know the true essence of love, my advice would be to look in the Bible. From cover to cover, you will find the greatest love story ever told; the love story between God and humanity.
Love is defined by what Jesus has done on the cross. If we want to know what love truly is, it’s important as a community to look back to the Author of love and see what He had to say about it.
Another similarly important bible verse is 1 Corinthians 13. It’s important to know this versus what the world tells us. The world tells us to “love yourself first” and the one who cares less has the greater power. General advice on love goes from “following your heart” to “saving some love for your self”. However, this is far from the biblical love that Jesus extended to us. The Bible tells us that you cannot follow your heart, because it is deceitful.1 Moreover, he poured out every bit of himself to the point of death on the cross because of how much he loves us.2 He cared more. Even when we were still sinners, he loved us first.3 The world tells us that love is conditional and divorce is always an option. But Jesus displays an unconditional love for us and that nothing can separate us from his love. 4 The biblical perspective of love seems so different from the way the world perceives it to be.
As a mother, wife, pastor and leader in the community, I often have to refer to these biblical verses to keep myself balanced. All the responsibilities of these roles can become overwhelming. And truthfully, every now and then I find myself straying away. If you’re feeling this way, know that you are loved. The love for your life far surpasses the worldly love plastered on social media and television screens. You are important because Jesus died on the cross for you.
For more on how to define true love, read the 10 Commandments of Love written by Bishop E. Bernard Jordan.