Did you do it?
You did, didn't you?
I know you did.
When you read this title, you started singing, "what is love, baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more" with your head tilted to the side doing a little head action.
If you're super spiritual, you simply answered the question by quoting, 1 Corinthians 13:4, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
Regardless of what you were thinking, let me share some thoughts on the subject of love for this Valentine's Day.
In a newspaper headline it read, "Woman Kills Her Husband." It showed a picture of a woman holding her dead husband in her lap with blood everywhere and a gun to the side of the body. In the article it read, "when the police entered the house, the wife was screaming "but I loved him, I loved him!"
I've had that type of love.
In the movie, The Duchess, after being cheated on countless times and threatened by her husband, the Duke, that if she does not come home she will never see her children again; the Duchess cries out, "what's wrong with me? Why do you not love me?" The Duke replies, "I do love you." She responds, "how do you love me?" The Duke replies, "I have loved you the best that I understand what love is."
I've had that type of love too.
So, what is love? I believe we have to run everything through what Christ did. In other words, we look at the life of Jesus and get our answers to the questions we have.
Look what Christ did for us.
Love is an act of the will, accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object.
Christ struggled with going to the cross. He said, "Father, not my will but your will be done." Jesus made a choice.
Did he have emotion? You bet. In fact, the Bible says he sweat drops of blood. That's some intense emotion!
Emotions are great, but too many times we put our emotions before the choice. It's like putting the cart before the horse. It's why so many marriages end in divorce. The "feelings" are gone, and so goes the marriage.
Jesus went to the cross. An act of the will that leads to physical action. Many people say "I love you" but there is no action that backs it up. Or like in the two stories mentioned before, the action is anything but "lovely."
Action on behalf of its object??? Christ went to the cross (that's the action) for us (we're the object of God's love) We are the ones who benefit from Christ going to the cross. We are reconciled to God because of it.
Do you choose to live a life of passionately giving of yourself to benefit someone else?
Not what you can get out of it,
not in how it makes you look good,
not to protect yourself,
but openly exposed to the possibility of real love.
It's harder than it sounds. It will cost you everything.
But I can't imagine loving any other way!
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
Happy Valentine's Day!