The world has a warped idea of love. This has been dramatically demonstrated recently with the overwhelming popularity of “50 Shades of Grey.” Even among Christian women. (Check out 5 legitimate longings of women Satan uses to draw them to pornography. List is by Dannah Gresch and Juli Slattery, author of “Pulling Back the Shades.”)
Real love isn’t an intense emotion that fades with time or passionate, physical desire. It’s not the “aw” reaction we have to a sweet puppy. Or even the depth of my fondness for chocolate. Nope. Real love is the kind God has for us. The same kind He commands us to demonstrate to each other.
What is real love?
Here’s a definition of “agape,” the Greek word translated as “love” in the New Testament:
God’s love for us; love expressed in deliberate action; seeks the welfare of others; not dependent on emotion, but is an act of the will; based on the giver’s character and not the worthiness of the receiver
What does real love look like?
Yes, we can choose to act in loving ways even when we don’t feel like it! Based on the definition and descriptions in 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4 & 5, here are 14 characteristics of real love!
- Doesn’t insist on being right, but seeks to make things right
- Is willing to be inconvenienced
- Seeks the welfare of the other person
- Doesn’t demand to be heard, but strives to listen
- Focuses on others needs instead of our own
- Is humble, not prideful
- Doesn’t keep score
- Looks for ways to help and encourage others
- Freely forgives
- Seeks to understand
- Doesn’t expect a return
- Focuses on the important over the urgent
- Doesn’t pick and choose whom to love
- Doesn’t overlook sin, but encourages holiness
So, how are you doing? How does real love compare to the world’s definition?
Who in your life needs for you to choose to love them today?
Related Post: 14 Ways to Show Love to Those You Love