Posted by: Louise | May 26, 2010

What is love?

“A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds: “What does love mean?”

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think…

  • “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” Rebecca – age 8
  • “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” Danny – age 7
  • “Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” Mary Ann – age 4
  • “I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” (Now THIS is love!) Lauren – age 4″

(For more click here)

I had a little giggle at these a month or so ago and it kind of tied in with what I have been thinking about for a while. A few months ago, Mark came home from his youth meeting and asked me to define love. My immediate thought was, “love is a choice”, but I wasn’t really satisfied with my answer and the question kind of stuck in my mind as I reflected on the people that I love, why I love them and as I thought about the baby we hope to adopt and wonder if I will really love her in the same way I love my other two children.

So here are some verses, quotes and thoughts that I have gathered over the last few months that have helped to change my view of how God loves me and how He wants me to love others.

  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJ)

God showed us he loves us by giving us the ultimate sacrifice when we didn’t deserve it AT ALL – that is love.

John MacAurthur writes ” Love is above all sacrificial. It is sacrifice of self for the sake of others…. It is not a feeling but a determined act of will which will always result in acts of self-giving.

  • See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! 1 John 3:1 (NLT)

He accepted us as one of His own, He adopted us into His family – that is love

  • Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. 2 John 1:6. (NLT)

Loving God means doing what He says by loving others – this is love. But what does loving others mean?

  • I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it–the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends John 15:12-13

Love means putting others before ourselves, even to the point of death. Is it not hard sometimes to put others before what we want in the small day to day things in life? Sacrificial living for others – that is love.

  • Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. 1 John 3:18

In Biblical love, actions do speak louder than words. John McAuthur says “Love is not sentiment, but deeds”. Action – that is love.

So I have a new definition for love. I’m sure it’s not complete, but for now to me love means “Sacrifice, acceptance and action”. That seems a little overwhelming to me. Then I remembered this verse

  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Gal 5:22.

We are enabled to love because we have the Spirit. Again, MacAuthur writes “When we stray from the source of Love, it is impossible to be loving”

How I need God’s help to live out my new definition of love! “Thank you for your Spirit Lord and that I don’t have to love in my own strength or ability”.

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