Page 2The need to love and be loved is the most basic of all human psychologicalneeds. People need love emotionally much like they need air to breathe physically.We perish without it. Our basic longing is to be the object of love and to be able togive love. No other need is quite so significant or essential.What is love? Many people think love is an emotion, an irresistible attractionto another person. Love certainly affects our feelings, but love is much more than anemotion; it is something you do. It is a funny thing that we speak of "falling in love",as though love were an accident, something that just happens to us without any effortor choice on our part. Actually, this is far from true. What "falling in love" describesis enchantment or infatuation, or romance; but not love. Love is not something youfall into, not an accident that happens to you, but something you choose to do.Love is commanded in the Bible, so we know that love must be more than afeeling because you cannot command emotions.
if I were to tell you "Be happy...right now", or "Be sad" or "Be angry",could you?Emotions are not commanded but are responses to stimuli. But God commands love.He commands us to love our neighbor. He commands husbands to love their wivesand wives their husbands. He even commands us to love our enemies, and thatcertainly is not a matter of emotions, but of behaviors!So love isn't something you fall into, love is more than an emotion. But whatis love?
Love is doing what is best for another person no matter what it costs you.
Love is a matter of the will. The feelings of romance, the feelings of infatuation arewonderful; we all enjoy them! But love is more than a feeling; and long after thefeelings have ebbed, it is the commitment of love, the actions of love that make arelationship last and thrive.
1 John 4:19
says, "We love because He first loved us." All human love at best is a dim reflection of the incredible love God has for us. God is love! And themore we are in touch with Him, the more authentic our relationship with Him, themore we'll be enabled to love others. The equation is simple: God is love, therefore,the more of God I have, the more love I have. God's love is not only the source of our love, but the model of our love. Augustine said, "God loves each of us as if therewere only one of us." You can’t even begin to imagine how much He loves you,how absolutely committed He is to doing what is best for you. His devotion to us isabsolute. His sacrifice was complete; to do what was best for us, He gave His Son,Jesus, in life and death. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved usand sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:10
The first and most important step you can take closer to another person is thestep that takes you closer to God. Receiving His love enables and enlarges you togive love. If you want to make love the climate of your relationships, the most