Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Definition of Love

“Love is giving sacrificially for the good of another, that doesn’t demand reciprocation or that the other person is deserving.”  Paul Tripp

Paul Tripp
I’m guessing that if you did an internet search on the term love you could come up with dozens of definitions.  However, I am particularly fond of the definition penned by Paul Tripp because it is based on Christ’s demonstrated love for us.

Sacrificially for the good of another

If I give something sacrificially it implies there is a cost to me.  It could be monetary, it could be my time, my comfort, etc.  If what I do is for the good of another it suggests that there is a recipient who benefits from my sacrifice.  Christ’s death on the cross would certainly meet the definition.

Doesn’t demand reciprocity

This suggests that there are no hidden agendas.  I am not expecting to get anything in return.  The individual owes me nothing.  This is a one sided transaction. 

The other person may not be deserving

Now you’re pushing the envelope too far.  Do you mean to tell me that I should do something that is costly to me, for the good of another, without expecting something in return AND the person may not even deserve such treatment from me.  That’s insane.  That’s also true love.  That is the love that our Savior displayed for us.

In practice

I should willingly put my wife’s wishes and desires ahead of my own, assuming that by doing so she will benefit.  And I must not expect anything in return, not even that she be nice to me.  Sign me up for that program!
And the Lord says “You did sign up for that program.  It is called a covenant marriage.  Remember the for better or worse thing, the in sickness and in health part, or the for richer or for poorer vow – what did you think that was all about?”

“Yes but..” seems like a totally inadequate response to the one who died an excruciating, humiliating death on the cross, not to mention being forsaken by Father.  Marriage is to reflect the Son’s relationship with His bride the church.  He sacrificially gave His life so that I might have eternal life, knowing that there is nothing I could do for Him, and that I am definitely not deserving.

Please send me your definition, almost anything has to be easier than this one.

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