What is Love?

John 3:16   “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8   Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 1 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

John 15:13   “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

NASB Translation 

I spent many hours in my life thinking about love, what is it, how do you describe it? do you feel it? is it an emotion? How do I know if I love someone?  As I was growing up in my family’s dysfunctional environment, there wasn’t much love expressed by almost all family members. I am not saying they did not love, but I did not feel it, or recognize it at my young age. Frankly I didn’t even think about it, things either went well, or bad for me, and the bad I quickly got over, at least as far as I knew then. Like most people, I am sure I carried a lot of baggage with me into my later life. Most people I asked the question of, what is love, seemed to have as difficult a time answering the question as I did. Many said, it is an emotion, you just feel it. One thing I have learned is, true love is demonstrated in some way. The ultimate demonstration of Love is, God’s love for us. He sent His Son to die for me, and everyone else also, if we will just receive His love as instructed by Him. Paul in 1 Corinthians gives me the answer of how love should be manifested in me. If 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is a test of my love for others, I am nowhere near 100% yet, but God is still working on me. The Bible tells when I am with Him I will be like Him. Jesus, in John 15:13 gives me the ultimate test of my love for Him, and others.

I pray if God gives me the opportunity to make my ultimate demonstration of love for Him and others I will pass the test.





Chapter of 13 I Corinthians is often called the “love” chapter in the Bible.  In it we can learn a great number of lessons.  We are told that many things that sound worthy are not profitable or useful for us without “love”.  So, what is love?  What makes it so good, so necessary?  What does the inspired Word, “love” mean as written by Paul?  And how are we to understand it?

If you look at older translations of the Holy Bible, “charity” is used rather than love.  In my most recent dictionary, you must go to definition #4 of charity to get: “Archaic: love of mankind, typically in a Christian context”.  Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (a gift from my daughter) gives a first definition: “Noun..in a general sense, love, benevolence, good will, that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellowmen and to do them good.  In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God and universal good will to men.  I Corinthians 13; Colossians 3; I Timothy 1”.  ( These Scripture references were actually a part of the definition!)  So, this word “love” or “charity” has a deep meaning!

We could say this definition includes both the first and second commandment as spoken by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, when he was asked, “Teacher, what is the first and great commandment in the law”?  His response: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind”.  He then added, “and the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

Webster’s 1828 definition of charity (love) was “Supreme love for God and universal good will to men”.

Questions we might ask daily are:  How well am I loving God fully; with my heart, soul, and mind?  And, How well am I loving my neighbor as myself?

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.”  I Corinthians 13:13

“What is Love?”

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27(ESV)

 Everyone in today’s world is looking for love.  We have songs centered around it, dating websites that promise it, books written on it, countless conversations about it, movies and TV shows about it.  Everyone no matter how tough they may be, still wants to feel loved.  Some may argue this, but deep down we all want love.  We may just define it differently.  Some people describe or define love as sex, respect, encouragement, devotion, gifts, or praise.  What is love really?

 I think our definition of “love” has gotten skewed from the true meaning.  Look at our culture.  We believe love is found in fairytales, dating, and marriage.  Then a few years later in the marriage we find out that the other person was just as selfish as we were, and we want to bail out and get a divorce.  Love is not a fairytale, it is as real as the chair I am sitting in right now writing this.  We can grasp love in this world.  We are just going about it the wrong way.  Too many people believe that if they find that perfect person then they can be fulfilled and happy.  True love is not found in human emotions, true love is the Lord.  That is right, God=love.  

 If we want to understand love and how to show it, we need to study the Lord and how he displays love.  Think about what the Apostle Paul says about a marriage relationship.  “Husbands love your wives as Christ Loves the Church”.  The example we are given to follow is Jesus.  Now comes the hard part, how do we define love since God is love?  You cannot accurately describe love easily as you cannot describe God easily.  It stretches deep and far just as God does. Just as I have faith in God I have faith in love.  The more I study it and live it out the deeper and deeper I get into what love is.  I may not be able to describe it but I know it when I see it.