How to Define Love
Our culture provides various options for how to define love. Most of them look like the “second hand emotion” that Tina Turner sings about in her 80’s hit “What’s Love Got to Do With It”? People in our society throw the word love around rather flippantly. It seems to be some nebulous feeling that comes and goes with the changing of seasons and circumstances.
Is that how we should define love?
As a Christ follower, I look in Scripture to find the meaning of life. God’s Word provides answers to our deepest questions. Here’s how the Bible defines love:
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16 (CSB)
The definition of love is wrapped up in the person and work of Jesus Christ. His life and death show that love is an unconditional commitment. It involves the whole person being willing to sacrifice for another.
So, if we want to know the definition of love, we must simply look at Jesus. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that we could have eternal life. The Bible says, in John 17:3, that eternal life is knowing God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
We will never be able to measure the height, width, and depth of God’s love for us. His love for you is infinite, it knows no limits. His love for you is faithful. His love for you is everlasting.
Richard Baxter said this about God’s love for us in Christ:
The love that brought the Son from heaven to earth, from the earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory; the love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified; that love will eternally embrace you.Richard Baxter
Have you experienced the love God has for you in Jesus Christ? Have you given your life to Jesus?
When we give our lives to Christ, we embrace infinite, matchless, inexpressible Love.
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(If you want to read more from Tim McKnight, click here.)
Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.