TRUE MEANING OF LOVE (2021)

TRUE MEANING OF LOVE (2021)

February 14 is a day that is celebrated worldwide as St. Valentine’s Day (also referred to as a day to express love). Therefore, as an act of love, I have chosen to share a chapter from my book, Christianity: Musings and Life Lessons of a Christian Writer“. 

LOVE

“I love you,” a very powerful statement that is fast becoming a cliché from being abused and over-used by this generation. The way it is used today, these words have lost the impact it once had on a lady’s heart. Many persons use it so carelessly that individuals now think that love is no longer enough for any relationship to last. But then I ask myself, “Is love not supposed to have everything good embedded in it? And if so, why then is it not enough?

The reason is that human beings have replaced the true meaning and value of love, with their ‘scientific, fact-based, clear thinking and reality-based’ definition. Therefore, one hears sentences like, “Love is blind” or “A relationship cannot be built on only love.” 

Characteristics of Love

Looking at the characteristics of love as highlighted in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV), one sees that, 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….” 

From the above-stated characteristics, it is easy to note that people’s understanding of love is quite different from its true meaning. If you are one of those who believe that love is blind, where then is the trait of love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth? 

And, if you think that love is not enough, what other traits are absent in love? Is it trust? It is present in love. Is it proper communication? Love is not rude, it is patient, not self-seeking or easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. What other rudiments of communication does one need? 

Is it commitment? Let us consider God’s commitment and that of His Son, Jesus, for the Bible states that God is Love (1 John 4:8). God sent His only Son and allowed Him to be subjected to pain and suffering because of His love for us. And Jesus went through it all in obedience and love for His Father. What better show of dedication can be found! 

Implications of Love

Therefore, when we say we love others, do we really understand the implications? Are we willing to suffer for the sake of that person? That is the kind of love, God would have us have for others. What are you going through, is it more than Christ did? God expects us to love as He does. 

So, understanding that GOD is LOVE, how do we, Christians, go about loving others? Know ye not that God’s name is at stake; for we are living epistles for others to read. If we, believers, do not understand the implications of what love means, how do we expect the “world” to understand? 

The world is turning upside down, not because of unbelievers, but because we, Christians have not understood the meaning of what Christ did, which is the true meaning of love. “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us“- Romans 5:8 (NIV).

Thus, whatever you do that cannot be described as an attribute of God is NOT love.

Culled from the Book, “Christianity: Musings and Life Lessons of a Christian Writer” by Ngozi O. Adighibe

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