The Bible states in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” I guess that means He’s the best lover of all. Now where does that place me on life’s spectrum?
I long to become a great lover, of people. I struggle through the labyrinth of life seeking the proper loving path, but clearly marked directions sometime allude me. There are so many people I long to shower with love: my husband, my kids, my mom, my brother, friends, other relatives, essentially everyone I pass day after day. Am I overreaching? If I understand how God wants me to behave, these are the ones I should love. But am I capable?
Daily, I hear other friends’ definitions of love and occasionally I wonder if they’ve got it figured out. Then I turn around to look at me and frown at my own inabilities.
Growing up, it seemed like love’s definition loomed ambiguously overhead. Was it a feeling? A thought process? An action? It can light you up when you feel it, or give a sense of angst when not returned. One person’s love might be another person’s cruel action. I remember my mom informing me that a swat on the rear or a time-out was her way of showing love, not my favorite way. Friends bake cupcakes to show love. We hug for love, we clean for love, we wake in the middle of the night for love. What is love?
When in doubt I read it out. With Bible open, I searched. There is a definition found in scripture. It seems to grand for me to achieve, but perhaps it’s the goal. If God is love, maybe this is a detailed example of what that really means. It gives me something to aspire to and a place to check myself to discover my failures and successes.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
I may not always know the best loving action, thought, or word on the moment, but I do know the God who is loving in every way. I trust His opinion and long to learn from Him. If it takes my whole life, I’ll continually seek to become a better lover and chances are, I will.