What is love? This is a question that has been pondered, poemed, painted, pinpointed, pontificated, and perused since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. Don’t forget all the songs—written, played, and sung in every genre by every generation.
What is love? There’s no clear answer or, rather, there are millions of answers.
So why do we keep asking the question? God designed us to both give and receive love. We are relational beings created to love and be loved by God and one another. Love is as necessary to us as nourishment.
Why, then, can’t we figure it out? Because each one of us wraps love in a package that fits our own personalities, needs, and experience—and we all call it love. And when someone’s definition (consciously or unconsciously) is a little different from ours, we feel slighted.
What about the definition God gave us in 1 Corinthians 13? That is the kind of love we receive from God, the love we aspire to, but it is a love without sin. And we are sinners. And our sin is part of the pretty package we tie a bow onto and call love.
We are not capable of loving as God loves; in our fallen nature, we can’t do it. When we try to love in our power, we limit our expression of love to the package we wrap and hold so tightly to.
This means that what we call love—our personal definition—has to be brought to the cross and put to death to be replaced with the love written about in the great love chapter–1 Corinthians 13.