Consider this quote from Pastor Jeff Benson
“There would be very few people from any race, creed or religion that wouldn’t agree with the idea that marriage (and pre-marriage) relationships must be built on a foundation of LOVE … not just to ensure that they go the distance, but also for them to be the wonderful thing they are meant to be!
The problem, however, is that the world typically defines love in an upside-down-inside-out kind of way.
All too often the music we listen to or the movies we watch define love by the romantic feelings that we have towards someone when we open up our heart to them.
This is a HUGE mistake, because essentially these heightened feelings are that of the need to be loved, not love itself … they represent a self-seeking desire rather than the selfless love that God calls us to place at the foundation of our relationships.”
Love is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot and used in a plethora of contexts. “I love my Mum”, “I love chocolate”, “I love this song”, “I love my dog”, “I love football”.
When it comes to relational love, many have tried to define or describe it …but more often than not, as Jeff said, the focus is on the feelings of in-love-ness. What it feels like to be the object of another’s affection. What it means to have all your sense of self tied up in the attention and opinion of another. Love is defined in measures of romantic gestures …the lengths another will go to in order to demonstrate how in-love they truly are.
“You hang up!” “No, YOU hang up!” – it must be love!
In the absence of a Biblical understanding of love and the subsequent personal implications of that, we are at the mercy of our feelings and others to define that for us.
We need to start with God who IS love and look to Him; to His word to align ourselves with what is on His heart for us to know and embrace. What IS love? What will it look like in MY life? How does it INFORM my feelings and responses?