Where is love? What is Love
But isn’t God a God of Love?
You might ask about this loving God and think, “If he loves us all, surely He wouldn’t send us to hell and the burning lake of fire. He would love us too much to do that, right?” Well, do you ever punish your children because you love
I recently heard Greg Laurie explain it this way. God loves us so much that He gives us a choice. He doesn’t force himself on us. If we want to choose Him, we can live with Him forever in heaven. However, if we wish to get as far away from God as possible here on earth, then he will give us our desire in eternity and allow us to be with Satan and His demons in Hell.
An Upside-Down Kind of Love
In essence, the problem is that we have become completely mixed up about the love of God. We use the word love in so many ways that it has lost it’s meaning completely. We love ice cream and we love God in the same breath. How is that possible and what does it really mean to love?
Let me share a few words from R.C. Sproul’s book, The Love of God.
In secular usage, love is also more passive than active. Love is something that happens to us, something over which we have no control. We speak about “falling in love.” We equate falling with an accidental action, not with a decision. We fall when we slip or are pushed or otherwise knocked over. The old ballad declared, “I didn’t slip, I wasn’t pushed, I fell … in love.” Another old standard celebrated the passive power of love with the words “Zing went the strings of my heart.” Our heartstrings do not go “zing” because of a conscious decision of the mind to engage in a certain action. This view of love portrays it as a romantic power that creates flutters in the heart, trembling in the knees, and flip-flops in the stomach.
On the other hand, the biblical view stresses the active side of love. For example, we are commanded to love not only our neighbor but even our enemy. How does one fall in love with an enemy? To love one’s enemy presupposes that enmity is real. We really do have enemies, and we usually do not like them very much. But the command is not to like our enemies; it is to love them. But how do we love someone we don’t like?
Sometimes lovers declare that they do not only love each other but like each other as well. The cultural view of love suggests that it is possible to love without liking. That may be true if love is used as a synonym for a sexual or chemical attraction. But it makes no sense if love is defined in terms of personal affection. In that sense, love goes beyond and builds on liking.
To love our enemies means primarily that we behave in a loving way toward them. We treat them with the same kindness and integrity that we treat our friends. Herein is the active aspect of love. It is action that is commanded by God, not a feeling.
The Definition of Love
The fact is, there are many different definitions of love. Even in the original Greek, The Bible uses several completely different words for “love”. Here are four of them I retrieved from Precept Ministries International
- Φιλἐω (Phileō) – This is brotherly love. The love you have for a friend.
- Ἀγάπη or Ἀγαπάω (Agapē or Agapaō) – Unconditional love. Love that keeps on loving even when love is not returned or when a person is unworthy of love, or unlovable.
- Στοργή (Storgē) – based on chemistry. It is a quiet, abiding feeling within a man that rests on something close to him and that he feels good about
- Εροσ (Eros) – erotic love. Love based on self-satisfaction.
Discussion on Love
I recently came into a discussion about loving others, even the unworthy, unlovable or our enemies. I have been studying to find true answers and I hope that soon I will continue this discussion about the Love of God, loving others, and loving ourselves. In the meantime, check out my post on How Jesus loved the lost.
Be blessed in His love and let it flow through you to everyone with whom you come into contact.What's Love Got to DO With It? Click To Tweet
Pastor’s Wife (retired) & Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.