Love; Most Understudied, Yet Most Misconceived!
Why is the concept of love so distorted that even with our growth in knowledge, we often still have a distorted approach to love in Christianity?
Where Did We Start Getting it Wrong?
This is the answer I have. The devil has a way of making a fake copy of every concept about God and Godliness. Much so had he propagated a false approach to love. An approach that is based on feelings, lust, emotions, neurochemically mediated behaviors, selfish desires, and without any spiritual basis.
So the Christians have continued to get it wrong when in our attempts to love we end up copying what the world does in their practice of love. We found ourselves using their terminologies; like I can’t do without you (is the person God?), you are the best thing that has ever happened to me (is the person your salvation?), without you my life is meaningless (is the person the Holy Spirit?), my baby, my sugar, sweetie, honey, darling, bestie, my boo, my hobby, and many other such expressions.
We also found ourselves exhibiting their behaviors in our attempt to express love. Like taking each other out, have a date, buy all manner of worldly gift, and similar acts which are mere caring and not in any bit love.
Yet no matter how much love you have for a fellow (sisters), someone who takes her out and spends on her like that will mostly take the first place in their heart. Perhaps, because gifts bring peace and get one attracted to the giver. But we must not forget to differentiate giving with the pure motive of love from giving with the wrong motives. (See details on the wrong motives in giving). A gift is only but caring if the motivation is not alignable with the love of God as we would see in the definition of love for Christians.
Let the World Learn Love from Us
The majority of the Christian society, having seen the way love concept is battered, shattered, mumbled and crumbled decided to adopt the abstinence approach by shooting off from the concept of love completely. This is an unhealthy attempt because every human has the same nature of God which is love within. And would always want to give it an expression. One cannot continue to suppress it.
Sticking to the BIBLE Definition of Love!
It would rather be more practical that we learned the biblical ways of expressing love. And rather than copy from the world, we should insist on the biblical injunction and thereby teach the world what love is.
For instance, instead of using their words to express love one can say; my beloved, my sister, my dove, fair one, my fairest, my delight, etc. The point is using biblical words, let the world copy and speak The Word.
In the other hand, in our actions; we should love with the right motive, loving per the biblical definition of love. Not the hormonally mediated behaviors. But taking note of Biblical instructions to own love to everyone, taking the ladies among us as our younger sisters, avoiding any action that will exploit another’s sexuality.
But generally, not abstaining from the love which is shown abroad in our heart by the Holy spirit rather cautiously defining what it ought to be.
To this effect, we will attempt a definition of love here: Love is an attitude- Roms 5:5. Love is an expression of the nature of God-1Jn 4:8. Love is an exercise of the will-deliberate choice. Love is a choice in obedience to God’s commandment Jn10:11-18. THUS, 💛👇
Love is an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.
It is easy to deduce true love because it follows after the nature of God Himself. One who loves you will depict the nature of God-loving without justified qualifications (test for agape love)–the person will not quite on you, will not look at you with contempt, will not look down on you, will not take you for granted, will be comfortably accountable and open to you about life hurdles, will show credibility, transparency, etc.
A man that walks in love is like an inflated ball, the harder you bounce him on the floor the higher he goes. Ps118:13_14. We cannot but show love to all in the Christian way.