What is Love?

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Hi everyone! ūüôā

Now, as you’re probably aware, Valentine’s Day is this Thursday, February 14th. (Wow! The winter is just flying by.) I don’t know about you, but I am SO excited to make pretty valentines for all my girlfriends out of colorful paper, lace, glitter, stickers, stamps, markers (well, if you’re a guy, I guess this doesn’t really apply)…and my mouth is watering at the thought of all that yummy candy. Mmm! ¬†Valentine’s Day is a day full of fun and sweets. It is also the perfect time to let our family and friends know why we love them, and to reflect on the gift of love given to us by our Heavenly Father.

I’d like to begin with a question: what does love mean to you? Does it mean having a humongous crush on the adorable boy (or girl) who lives next door? Does it mean that unconditional love you have for your family? Does it mean having a passion for somebody or something?

What is love?

Well, a few days ago I asked myself this question, and I decided to see what God had to say about it, so I consulted my trusty Bible to get the real answer. Here is a passage I found addressing that wonderful gift that comes from none other than God Himself:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor 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.”¬†~1 Corinthians 1-7

It looks as if God’s definition of love is a whole lot deeper and more complex than our own. There is so much more to God’s definition of love than simply feeling passion for someone or something. This makes it all the harder for us to love¬†— truly¬†love, in a way that is good and pure in the Lord’s sight.

Right now, these words may not make much sense to us. There is so much to understand and to grasp about real love that we may be tempted to give up before we begin. It may seem hopeless. You might be thinking, “Gosh! How can I¬†ever¬†be like that? How am I supposed to remember and understand all of that?” But I feel it is important to remember that we were not meant to understand. As I stated earlier, love is a gift given to us from Above, the splendid work of the Lord Himself, and we are too feeble-minded and shallow and HUMAN to ever be able to grasp its full meaning. We are not capable of this kind of love, of¬†true, godly¬†love, because our sins stand in the way. Even if we did not have this obstacle, we simply do not have the capacity to comprehend perfect love. We are too¬†imperfect¬†to be able to do that.

However, you may have been able to get a handle on the basic idea. Love is a reflection of God Himself, and without it, we are nothing. Love is pure and perfect. And, most importantly, love is 100% completely and totally NOT about you or me. It’s about other people, and it’s all about God. But there is so much more to it that we will never understand, until we meet the Lord face-to-face in Heaven someday.

Why is love such a gift? Because God gave it to us so that we may better know Him. He gave it to us to draw us closer to Him. God¬†is¬†love, and we will never know true love if we do not know Him. I believe that our purpose here on this Earth, as human beings, is to spend our lives learning how to love so that when we enter God’s Kingdom one day, we will be able to exist in faultless harmony and perfect love amongst one another and the Lord. Every experience, every action we take, every event in our lives is teaching us about love, love that is pure and good in God’s sight. On a similar note, every experience, every action we take, every event in our lives gives us the opportunity to get to know the Lord and see His marvelous works. For we CANNOT love if we do not know Him, and we CANNOT know Him if we do not have love.

I would like to end today’s post with this: God commanded us to love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”¬†~John 13:34-35

“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'”¬†~Matthew 22:37-39

We are the Lord’s people, and He has spoken. We need His help more than ever before as we embark on the biggest journey of our lives: learning to love. This is the¬†ultimate¬†challenge, and we are hopelessly incapable of doing it on our own. Therefore, we must ask Him to help and strengthen us.¬†We must seek Him throughout our entire lives, for we can know love only if we know Him.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Your friend, Olivia

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