What's Love Got to Do with It?
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
Love is patient and kind—1 Corinthians 13:4.
“Here she is, ready to answer all your questions about love—Dr. Leva Salone.” The audience erupts in applause as the counselor enters the studio.
“Let’s get right to your questions,” Dr. Salone says, pointing to a young man.
“Dr. Salone, is there such a thing as love at first sight?”
“Good question. Love as it is described in the Bible is not based on looks or even romance. Real love is based on commitment and deep understanding of the other person. There is such a thing as attraction at first sight, which can grow into real love. But true love cannot be determined at first glance.”
Dr. Salone nods to a high school junior in the front row. “Dr. Salone, I have such strong feelings for my boyfriend. Does that mean I’m in love?”
“Real biblical love produces strong feelings,” Dr. Salone begins, “but strong feelings don’t necessarily mean you are in love. Feelings come and go quickly, depending on the mood you’re in. To know if your love is real, avoid focusing on your feelings. Look instead at the depth of commitment you have for each other.”
Another guy stands. “Isn’t sex the ultimate expression of love, Dr. Salone?”
“There are few things more beautiful than sex in the context of a loving marriage relationship,” Dr. Salone says. “But sex as an expression of love is more the result of a committed marriage relationship than the cause of it. Sex was made for two people to enjoy and deepen their love within marriage. That’s why the Bible instructs us to save sex for marriage.”
“Dr. Salone,” calls out a girl in the back, “how can I know if my love is mature enough to make a relationship last?”
The doctor steps closer to the audience. “Let me share with you seven characteristics of mature love to help you measure your own love. One, mature love is spelled G-I-V-E. It is always giving. Two, mature love shows respect for one another. Three, mature love has no conditions for acceptance. Four, mature love is realistic. It doesn’t live in a dream world. Five, mature love takes responsibility for its loved one. Six, mature love is demonstrated in a sustained commitment. And seven, mature love never stops growing.”
How would your love life stack up against the fictional Dr. Leva Salone’s list? If your love needs a reality check, spend some time meditating on 1 Corinthians 13. God invented love. The more you understand what his Word has to say about it, the more loving you will be in your relationships.
REFLECT: How do your attitudes and expectations of love measure up to this biblical definition of love?
PRAY: God, teach me to love—to really love as you defined it.