Updated: Jul 23, 2021
That depends entirely on how you define love.
Wordnik.com, Dictionary.com, and Merriam-Webster.com have complied similar definitions of the word love. The lists are long and varied, but the most commonly included word is “affection,” other, less widely cited words included in the definition are kindness, devotion, and sexual desire. The essence of love is a feeling.
Or is it?
Scripture teaches that love endures long – it is patient and kind. It never boils over with jealousy, nor is it boastful or arrogant. Love is not prideful or rude; it does not insist on its rights or its way. Love is not self-seeking, petty, or resentful. It keeps no records of wrongs, i.e., it does not hold grudges. It is honest and is ever ready to believe the best of the other person. It is enduring and always has hope. (Angela’s take on the Amplified Bible Classic Edition, I Corinthians 13:4-7. Please read it for yourself here.)
How do you define love?
I implore you to reconsider your definition of love if it is based on feelings of affection, kindness, devotion, or sexual attraction. While those are beautiful benefits of a loving relationship, feelings are ever-changing. What happens when you or your partner are not kind? Don’t feel particularly affectionate? Doubt one another’s devotion? Or you or your partner don’t feel the sexual desire you once did?
Love based on feelings has to be earned – it is performance-based.
Love that is based on Scriptural principles is a gift that is freely given. It is a choice followed by actions that generate feelings of acceptance, affection, passion, forgiveness, joy, confidence, and hope. This kind of love is all you need.
Contact me for help discovering or recovering Scriptural love.
Angela W. Startz, MAHSC, CCLC