It all comes down to Love

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    What is love? “Love is patient, and is kind; love does not envy or boast, love is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

    We say we love our spouse but do we always show our love in these ways? Are we always as patient or kind as we should be? When we get tired or hungry we sometimes get irritable. Other days we might struggle all day long with simply being irritable. Love is one of the simplest and yet one of the most complex concepts all at the same time. Love is something that we feel like we understand as a small child, yet as we grow older we realize we haven't even began to fully understand true love.

    True love is often portrayed as a sexual desire for another by movies and tv shows. Love is often believed to be something that we fall into and out of. There are so many misunderstandings concerning true love and it seems that these misunderstandings often change the way we view love.

    The example of perfect love is seen in Christ’s Love for us. It is interesting that while Jesus never married He still is the perfect example for how we should love both with our spouses and with others.

    Jesus’ love was a sacrificial love. He was willing to sacrifice His own will in order to save the world (John 3:16-17; Luke 22:42). True love means we are willing to sacrifice of ourselves for the good of those we love. We are willing to lay down our own will and desires to do that which is best for those we love.

    True love means we love others even when they are not perfect. We all realize that no one is perfect, yet there are times in which loving someone becomes very difficult due to the mistakes that they are making. Christ loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). True love means that even when someone is doing wrong, we want them to be right. It means that we are willing to teach, to help, to instruct them and do all we can to lead them out of darkness and into light.

    Yet there are several things that Christ never did even though He loves us. Christ has never turned a blind eye to sin. He provides the way to forgiveness, yet also expects us to turn from that sin. Christ never compromises truth. Truth is a basic foundation of Christ’s love for us and must also be a basic foundation of our love for others.

    True love is sometimes difficult. True love is why Christ went to the cross. True love is why we have a hope of heaven. True love allows us to live a life free from fear (1 John 4:18). The love that Christ has shown us is the love that we should strive for. It is this type of love that we should have for our spouses (Ephesians 5:25). It is this type of love that we should have for our children. It is this type of love that we should have for our friends. It is this type of love that we should have for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). When we understand and practice true love, there is not a single other command in the Bible with which we will have a problem. Every other command deals with loving God as we should and loving those around us as we should. Matthew 22:40 Jesus said, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”