““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 NLT
“I love you.” A short sentence with three simple words that hold tremendous power. Three words often said too soon, too easily or sometimes even dishonestly. Three words that can fool or heal a broken heart depending on the speaker’s true intentions. They say the tongue is like a swift sword. If that’s true then saying “I love you” is like removing Excalibur from its stone prison.
How do you know if those words are true or false? Look at the speaker’s actions. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 specifically tells us what Love is and is not. Love is PATIENT and KIND. Love REJOICES whenever truth wins. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is ALWAYS HOPEFUL and ENDURES through every circumstance. Love is NOT jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love does NOT demand its own way neither is it irritable nor does it keep record of wrongs. Let me add this: Love does not call names, does not threaten you, does not cheat on you or lie to you and Love will never tell you it hates you. Love chooses you above it’s own needs every single time. It doesn’t make excuses, Love doesn’t blame you and it never purposefully hurts you. Love takes ownership when it makes a mistake. Love protects, provides for, comforts and empowers you. Love commits to you every day.
Love calls you on the phone just to hear your voice. Love surprises you with a special gift or an act of service just because it treasures you. Love is content just being in your presence no matter what is going on around you. Love will share its secrets and cast its burdens upon you and carry yours when you are weary. Love will pray with you and for you. Love will fight for you when you cannot fight for yourself. Love will fight your enemies with you when you’re strong enough to handle the trenches of warfare. Love will speak the truth to you even if it risks upsetting you because its desire is for you is to walk in the Truth.
Love will however, never condemn you. Love will never make you feel less than or set standards for you that are impossible to achieve. Love will always love you for exactly who you are and where you’re at in your life’s journey. Love will also never compare you to anyone else or make you pay for someone else’s mistakes. Love always sees the unique and precious gem that you are and treats you as such no matter what.
Love comes in many packages-parent/child relationships, marriages, friendships and even through extended family relationships. The greatest love comes from God Himself. His word repeatedly tells us how much He loves us. 1 John 4:9 tells us ““God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” God didn’t just send His son because we know that Jesus is really God Himself in human form. Thus, God actually endured condemnation, imprisonment, torture and murder for you and for me. God shows us in John 15:13 just how great of a sacrifice that is-“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” No greater love than to lay down’s one life for another. Does that mean we should all throw ourselves in front of a moving vehicle to show our love for someone? Absolutely not! Does it mean we stop striving to serve ourselves and take on a servant heart toward others? Yes. It. Does. Galatians 5:13 sums it up perfectly. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
God tells us to “…Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34b NLT) He also tell us “…let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
So the next time you say “I love you” make sure your deeds back up this sentence. Before giving your heart to someone who tells you they love you, make sure they have taken the time to show you love in how they treat you. Please note, “Making love” and “falling in love” are fantasy and romantic notions that only build up false expectations and bring demise. If you can “fall in love” then you can “fall out of love.” It’s this ideology that leads to many break-ups and divorces. It’s an ideology that is based on feeling not consciously choosing. Feelings come and go and can be swayed by circumstances. Choosing love means you choose that relationship, that friendship or to raise that child no matter what circumstances lie before you. Although love keeps no record of wrongs, to protect yourself and to protect your relationships examine the ways you and those you love are showing love to one another. Actions will always speak volumes over words. 💗