What Is Love?

“Yeah I would fight for you, I’d lie for you, walk the wire for you, yeah I’d die for you. You know it’s true, everything I do, oh, I do it for you.”

Lyrics like these from the theme song in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, are representative of what we see as chivalrous, that honorable, gallant man, the knight, willing to sacrifice his life. It’s what every woman wants. A man, who honors her, respects her and would ultimately die for her.

A love that’s pure is without expectations. A love that’s genuine is without conditions. In our “Fifty Shades of Grey” culture and our skewed definitions of love, we miss out. And this missing out starts early.

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The lines are blurred so we don’t even know we’re tiptoeing by them, on them, or possibly even crossing them. We’ve become so desensitized to love, that we don’t guard it, wait for it, or hold it for what is perfect. Our young people toss the word around as if they understand what they’re saying. “I love you.” In a relationship, what does that mean? With the gift giving and receiving, the Instagram posts and captions, and that word….dating. Where are they even going? Nowhere. And we’re not helping them.

We quickly jump in to defining love through another, or by the interactions we have with another. We’ve got it all wrong. Love has to start with us. We’ve got to get down to the base of love, the agape love. How can we love another if we haven’t fully accepted the One love our hearts, minds, and souls were created for?

Types-of-Love

There is a Man who has died for us. We read about the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins. However, do we take it in? Do we fully absorb what He did? Do we completely soak up the love He poured out when He shed His blood?

Philippians 2:6-8 NLT (emphasis added)

Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

A criminal’s death. A criminal’s death is what He endured for you. He endured it for me. If you were the only person to save, He would have endured it for you alone.

A criminal’s death. We’re not talking about an honorable sacrifice. He was mocked. He was ridiculed. He was beaten. He suffered and died, ransomed for you and for me. It was our debt to pay, yet He gave Himself freely.

There we find the foundation of love. If we don’t build our house of love off of that solid establishment, then everything we build is a house of cards. And He wants so much more for us. He wants us to let it be forever….

*I was in the 8th grade, yes the 8th grade when I allowed myself to get caught up in romantic love.  Far before I was ready.  Nothing physical involved at all, but emotionally invested before I was grounded in my identity in Jesus.  I had a relationship with Jesus.  But please, see what I’m saying.  It was my identity in Him, the essence of who I was, that I needed to be solid first.  This song came out a few years later.  I met the group, Avalon, at a Christian Music Artist Convention my vocal coach took me to.  I told them how their song challenged me to redefine love and to guard it as the precious gift it is.  I was sixteen.  A few months later, I began dating Brandon.  It was because of these truths that our relationship took the course we printed on our wedding invitations. “A glance, a smile, became a friendship, grew into love.”  I could fully, completely, and SAFELY love him, because my lens of love was through Jesus first.

“Let It Be Forever”

In a world of broken hearts, love is just a word

Used so often, what is means is blurred

People grow so hungry for a love they can believe

And will they find it here in you and me

Oh you know you must be careful

If it’s love you’re promising

You can never, never, ever speak it lightly

It should cost you everything

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

Let it be forever

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

Love has come from God and in this love we share

People see an image of Him there

It can be an invitation that leads to deeper truth

The kind of love they find in me and you

Oh, we can be a witness

Right before their eyes

A living love that’s rooted in the very love of Christ

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

I don’t know what this world may think of love

Oh, but let our hearts remain true

To the notion that love goes beyond just emotion

Into faith, into hope, into trust

If you’re gonna call it love

Won’t you let it be forever

Won’t you let it be, let it be

If you’re gonna call it love

Won’t you let it be forever

~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day!

john 316 valentine-2

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