To Protect and Provide
Here is one of the simplest definitions for true love you will ever find: to protect and to provide for another person. It reflects God’s picture of love in the Bible. And the supreme example is Jesus Christ’s love for the church. He is alive today, protecting and providing for us.
What does true love look like in a dating relationship? You will speak and act in ways that protect and provide for your boyfriend or girlfriend. For example, you will drive carefully instead of recklessly, because you want to protect your date from an accident. You will provide activities that will be personally enriching and enjoyable for your date, instead of those of questionable value. And you will not pressure your date to meet your sexual desires, but instead protect him or her from the pain of moral compromise.
As you can see, true love from God’s perspective is much more than an attraction to or warm feelings about someone special. True love is a decision, an action, a response to care for others as you do yourself. Protecting and providing for others is an act of the will regardless of our feelings. This is how we are to love everyone: family members, friends, classmates, neighbors, even strangers. We should be constantly seeking the happiness, health, and spiritual growth of others, beginning with those closest to us—family members and close friends—and working out to people we don’t even know, such as people around the world who benefit from our charitable giving.