What the Bible says about love is that “love is of God” and “God is love” (1 John 4:7–8); in other words, love is a fundamental characteristic of who God is. Everything God does is impelled and influenced by His love.
The Bible uses several different words for “love” in Hebrew and Greek, interchanging them depending on context. Some of these words mean “affectionate love”; others indicate “friendship”; and still others, “erotic, sexual love.” There is also a distinct word for the type of love that God displays. In Greek, this word is agape, and it refers to a benevolent and charitable love that seeks the best for the loved one.
The Bible gives many examples of love: the caring provision of Boaz for Ruth; the deep friendship of David and Jonathan; the poetic, passionate love of Solomon and the Shulamite; the enduring commitment of Hosea to Gomer; the fatherly love of Paul for Timothy and John for the church; and, of course, the sacrificial, saving love of Christ for the elect.
Agape, the benevolent, selfless love that God shows, is mentioned often in the New Testament, including in the “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13. There, love’s characteristics are listed: love is patient and kind; love doesn’t envy, boast, or dishonour others; love is not proud or self-seeking; love is not easily angered, doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, and doesn’t delight in evil; rather, love rejoices with the truth; love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres; love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4–8). Of the greatest of God’s gifts, faith, hope, and love, “the greatest . . . is love” (verse 13).
Also read this…..
The Bible says that God was motivated by love to save the world (John 3:16). God’s love is best seen in the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf (1 John 4:9). And God’s love does not require us to be “worthy” to receive it; His love is truly benevolent and gracious: “God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The Bible says that, since true love is part of God’s nature, God is the source of love. He is the initiator of a loving relationship with us. Any love we have for God is simply a response to His sacrificial love for us: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Our human understanding of love is flawed, weak, and incomplete, but the more we look at Jesus, the better we understand true love.
The Bible says that God’s love for us in Christ has resulted in our being brought into His family: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). Just as the father in the parable showed love to his prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32), so our Heavenly Father receives us with joy when we come to Him in faith. He makes us “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV).
The Bible says that we are to love others the way that God loves us. We are to love the family of God (1 Peter 2:17). We are to love our enemies—that is, we are to actively seek what is best for them (Matthew 5:44). Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). As we show benevolent, selfless love, we reflect God’s love to a lost and dying world. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
The Bible says that our love for God is related to our obedience to Him: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3; cf. John 14:15). We serve God out of love for Him. And God’s love for us enables us to obey Him freely, without the burden of guilt or the fear of punishment.
1 John 4:18 says that “perfect love drives away every fear.
The Benefits of love
Thomas Aquinas: Three Features of Christian Love
Thomas Aquinas, a thirteenth-century Dominican monk, was also an influential philosopher and theologian. He systematized an account of Christian love that answered approximately 150 questions related to love, providing an effective summary of the Bible’s teachings on love. At the heart of his account were three features.
1. Love is a long-term disposition.
Christian love is a broad, long-term personal disposition or trait. Love goes far beyond a single relationship, a particular action, and is surely something deeper than a short-term emotion. Love isn’t just about what we do, but also about who we are.
2. Loving people desire the good for all.
The loving person desires the good for all: God, self, others with whom we have close relationships, distant strangers, even enemies.
As the Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches, love has a universal scope and everyone is our neighbour, especially when they are in need. This aspect of love is best thought of as benevolence.
3. Loving people desire bonds appropriate to a given relationship.
Finally, the loving person desires bonds with others that are appropriate.
Characteristics of True Love According to the Bible
Do you want to know if your partner is truly in love with you? Do you want to know if you truly love someone? Do you want to learn how to grow your love or inspire other people to purify their love? Do you want to understand what true love really means?
True love is extraordinary. It’s not an easy thing to do. It could even be the hardest thing to do in this world as we know it. We might think that we’re already giving true love, but the truth is… it might not just be enough.
If you want to know and understand what true love really is, here are 21 signs, qualities or characteristics of a genuine love according to the verses in the Holy Bible.
1. Love is patient.
True love can tolerate pain or suffering without complaining or getting angry.
2. Love is kind.
True love has a gentle, caring and compassionate heart. It feels your sorrow; it feels your joy.
3. Love is not envious.
True love is content and thankful for its blessings and current possessions. It doesn’t envy other people.
4. Love is humble.
True love is not proud and boastful. It is humble enough to admit its own mistakes and strive to correct them. It also forgives to get rid of hatred and enjoy the peacefulness.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is the not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
5. Love is respectful.
True love respects and honors you as a person. It doesn’t put you into shame or humiliation.
6. Love is selfless.
True love is always thoughtful and concerned about the welfare of its beloved. It’s not selfish, inconsiderate, and greedy.
7. Love is calm.
True love always maintains the clarity of mind and softness of heart. Its heart is deep and its mind is not narrow.
8. Love is righteous.
True love always does the right thing. It disciplines itself to avoid wrongdoings.
“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5
9. Love is honest.
True love is truthful. It’s happy living an honest life. It doesn’t lie and hide in darkness.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6
10. Love protects.
True love always protects you and wants you to be safe.
11. Love is trusting.
True love trusts. It relies and depends on you. It recognizes your abilities, talents, skills and the good things in you.
12. Love is hopeful.
True love is optimistic. It includes you in its plans. It sees a bright future with you.
13. Love is persistent.
True love doesn’t easily give up.
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7
14. Love banishes fear.
True love eliminates fear, anxieties and insecurities that torment one’s heart, mind, and soul.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
15. Love loves even those who don’t love it.
True love does good things even to those who hate it. It will love you even though you are treating it as your enemy.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” – Luke 6:27-33
16. Love comes
Ways the Bible Shows Us How to Live with people in love
“Come, sinners come! Come, sinners come!
Oh, what a love is this that bids sinner come!”
(from “Come Sinners, Come” by Isaac Wardell)
There are days it feels almost impossible to escape sin. Sometimes it’s when I come face to face with the greed, impatience, and pride in my own heart. Other times, I feel overwhelmed by the violence, hate, and fear pressing in from the world around me. I can only take so much heartlessness, so much brokenness, so many facebook arguments, before I find myself curled into a fetal position and refusing to leave the couch.
“What can men do against such reckless hate?” King Theoden asks Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. To be honest, I probably ask that question every couple of days.
If you’re asking that question today, come with me to the Scriptures, and let us meditate together. The books of the Bible are many and varied, but if there was a single thread running through them all, it might be love. God not only has love – God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is what prompted Christ’s saving efforts on the cross (John 3:16). All the commandments found in the Hebrew laws, or given by Old Testament prophets, hang on the idea of loving God and loving one another. God’s love, according to Isaiah, is greater and stronger than even the devotion of a nursing mother (49:15).
But how can we live out this love in our own lives? What does it look like? What examples can we find in Scripture to inspire us to keep loving, no matter how dark and cold the night may become?
Here are beautiful ways the Bible shows us how to live with love.
1. Lift up the broken, enlarge the small, and favor the weak
But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”(Matthew 19:14).
This is one of my favorite episodes in Gospels. In a society that, in many ways, treated children as little more than property, Jesus refused to let them be brushed aside. Rather, he spent time with them, blessed them, and make a special point to teach his followers that his Kingdom was made for “such as these.” I can’t think of any higher praise!
Throughout his ministry, Jesus also blessed and worked alongside women – another people group relegated to the status of property and lesser citizens in most ancient cultures. He teaches them (John 4, Luke 10:39) heals them (Mark 5:24-34), and even chooses to reveal himself as risen Lord first to a woman, and commissioned her to be the first bearer of the Resurrection Gospel (John 20).
We can emulate the love and care Christ showed to the poor, the marginalized, and the sick. Learning from his example, we can remember to be kind to children and those who are socially disadvantaged. We can remember to show love by prioritizing those who have nobody looking out for them.
2. Have patience with each other
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other (Colossians 3:12-13).
Isn’t it sobering that, even when we are surrounded by fellow believers, “bearing with one another” is still so hard? Patience is not something that comes naturally to most of us. But we can increase patience in our hearts by turning to God’s word, and remembering his supreme patience.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
According to Peter, God longs for each of us to have life and right relationship with him. If an eternal and holy God can display such grace toward us in the face of our stubbornness, can we not show a portion of the same grace to one another? Patience in the midst of frustration and trial is one of the most shining examples of biblical love.
3. Be generous