What is real love?

There is a predominant myth in our world that has permeated the minds of Christ-followers everywhere. The myth is that godly love feels like love. But the truth is, godly love feels like sacrifice. Followers of Christ look to the life of Christ for their definition of true love.  1John 3:16 says “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.”

Godly love doesn’t “follow the heart” – as we’re often encouraged to do. But rather, godly love follows the Holy Spirit. Following God’s Spirit means submitting to His word, seeking wise counsel, and using all the facets of your person – your mind, your heart, and your will to love someone as Christ has loved you.

ABC’s show, The Bachelor, is one of the best examples of the fallacy of following one’s heart regarding love. The foundational premise of the show repeatedly emphasizes the need for contestants to “get out of their head” and “follow their heart.”

It is ironic that The Biggest Loser, a weight loss competition show, and Survivor, the classic team survival show, have produced significantly more lasting relationships than either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I wonder why that is? Maybe it is because they aren’t pursuing a false dream of love?

R.C. Sproul summarizes for us what godly love is: “In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action.”

Take some time today to meditate slowly over 1 Cor. 13 and evaluate your current relationships according to the scriptures definition of real love.

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