Thursday, 3 March 2011

What is Love?

The word love tends to be a rather elusive term. I love my wife, I love chocolate, I love to play the piano, I'd love to play golf well (as if that is ever going to happen) and most importantly I love the Lord. In each of these cases the word love is a noun representing a fondness for or an intense affection for the subject of the sentence.

1Corinthians 13 tells us that love is patient, love is kind, love is not self-seeking, and it keeps no record of wrongs. This gives us a much clearer understanding of what it means to exhibit love another person. Love now becomes a verb. The best definition of love results in the most important event in human history, i.e. Christ’s death on the cross. His sacrifice is the ultimate definition.

Paul Tripp provides an excellent definition of what love shaped to the cross (cruciform) should look like. “Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.”

If love were a onetime event, a willing self-sacrifice for the good of another might be possible. I could help an old lady across the street (hey at my age that is not as easy as it sounds). I could give up a few cups of Starbucks to throw some extra money in the offering plate at Christmas time. I could make and take a meal to an ailing friend (particularly if he likes chocolate). These are onetime events. Wait a minute marriage is a onetime event; at least it is supposed to be.

Okay so let me get this straight, I am to willingly sacrifice for the good of my wife and she doesn’t have to do something nice in return? Even though she may be disrespectful and treat me as though I had the brain of a carrot, I’m supposed to make willing sacrifices for her good? Who on earth would do that? Christ.

And just why would I want to do that? Ephesians 5:21 tells me that I should want to do it out of “reverence for Christ”. I should want to willingly sacrifice for the good of another out of gratitude for what Christ has done for me. That must be my motivation. That is what would enable me to be loving though it is not reciprocated or deserved.

And just how do you think I could pull that off? Only through the help of the Holy Spirit who resides in me, for it is only in His strength and power that I do the good that I do.

It is much easier to love chocolate than a person. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a comment