The need for love doesn’t just disappear when we reach adulthood. It is at the center of our emotional desires. We are made in God’s image, and his love is poured out all over us. But because we have boxed in love and developed incomplete and sometimes unhealthy definitions of it, it can be hard for us to discern love when we see it.
As Christians, we receive and believe God’s perfect example of love:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)
When asked, we can point to this verse and say, “That’s what love is.” But how can we model our love on his love if we don’t know what our starting definition is?
Start by digging inside yourself for how you have “packaged” love. For centuries individuals and societies have held two totally different views:
- Fulfillment and happiness lie in being at the top of the pyramid, having others serve you.
- Fulfillent and happiness are found in lovingly serving others.
Which matches most closely with your stated beliefs? Which matches most closely with your relationships in the family, at work, and with friends?