What is the meaning of love? In today’s culture love is incorrectly characterized as an elated feeling of emotion that is accompanied by sexual attraction. The accurate word for this portrayal of “love” is lust and/or infatuation, which are often mistaken for love at the beginning of a relationship.
When relationships are formed based on this self-serving portrayal of love, they rarely last. This “love” describes something that must be earned by making someone feel good:
“If you are attractive to me, be nice to me, meet my needs and love me I in return will “love” you.”
Take away the newness of this type of relationship and pleasure that stems from it, what was thought to be love will be lost.
The true meaning of love
If you research the origin of the word love, you will find that it refers to an action, a verb. Love, derived from the Old English word, lufian means “to love, cherish, show love to; delight in, approve.” In essence, love is demonstrated in action by doing something specific and tangible for others. Love is not something that we can obtain or “fall into” but something we cultivate and give to another person without expecting to receive anything in return.
One of my favorite Bible verses comes from the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. In this scripture, Paul is describing a kind of love that is directed outward, toward others, not inward to ourselves. Love that God has for his children and expects us to show toward others. This type of love does not come natural for us and in contrast, goes against our natural inclinations. Without Gods help, our selfish nature is not capable of feeling or expressing authentic love. Love that will last through the ages because we care enough to sacrifice our needs in order to meet the needs of another.
As a woman with two failed marriages on my track record, I can attest to the truth written above. Before I totally submitted control of my life to my heavenly Father, I looked to relationships to fulfill a void in my life. A void that can only be filled by a personal relationship with Jesus. Once I was secure in my relationship with God, I didn’t “need” anyone else, including a husband to complete me. (Sorry Jerry McGuire fans<3)
Thankfully, God has rewarded my sacrifice of my life to Him by blessing me with a marriage more fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. A marriage that is rich, not only in love but respect and admiration that grows greater with each passing day.
My hope on this Valentine’s Day is that you too will look only to God for fulfillment of your needs. Then, and only then, will you be able to experience the unexplainable joy that stems from a selfless and sacrificial love for your husband and lifetime partner.
Sending peace, love & happiness to all,
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