What does love really look like? What does love look like to you? If someone said that they loved you, but their actions doesn’t show it. Do you truly believe they love you? Do you believe that they really think that they love you? Even though you don’t feel that they do? How do you come to conclusion that they truly love you? Is it based off what they say or what they do? Most would probably say based off not what they say but what they do. With that being thought out, how does your family and friends know that you truly love them? If there’s something that you want them to do and they don’t or if you disagree. Do you still treat them the same way you would have if there were no conflict? Interesting thought right. I can remember times when I would get upset and my actions surely showed it. But when I truly learned that love is an action and not just based off words. It made me look at things totally differently. I can say for myself I’m still a work in progress but once you understand what you’re dealing with. That’s when you then can begin to work on the issue. Recognizing what the issue maybe is what brings growth. Here is an example I will share. I would always open the car door for my wife anytime we go out. But if she made me upset for some reason, I would say to myself there is no way I’m opening her door for her. So when we would go out and if I was upset I wouldn’t open her door. One day it dawned on me though that no matter how I might feel. If I love her no matter what, I should still open her door. I know that feeling came from God. So now it doesn’t matter how I might feel at that moment, I still open her door. Why? Because love is an action and shouldn’t be based off what one get out of it in return or how one may feel. So if we want to know if we truly love someone or they love us. All we have to do is compare it to Gods definition of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. So as you go through your day, think about the way you love, and compare it to this verse above. There are many love stories that represent this in the bible that I will share that can be encouraging to all of us and gives us some examples to follow.
Lets start with Jacob and Rachel. Genesis 29:16-28, 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.” Here Jacob proved his love to Rachel by his willingness to work an extra 7 years of labor for a total of 14 years to be with her. Rachel had to feel truly loved based off his actions.
Then there is the story of the lost son which shows a deep kind of love. Luke 15:11-31 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. This fathers love is one we should all try to follow.
Then there is a guy by the name of Hosea who had an adulteress wife. Hosea 3:1-3, 3 The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels[a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek[of barley.3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” Hosea willingness to take his wife back after her transgressions showed that he loved her. The reason we know he loved her is once again based off his actions. There are many more stories I could share like this in the bible like the story of Jonathan and David. Which is probably the greatest human loved story. There love wasn’t like a man and a woman love, you love me I love you. There love was based on mutual respect for one another. The bible says in 1 Samuel 20:17- And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. Then there is the love Jesus had for Lazarus, but most importantly the love Jesus had for you and me by giving his life up for us. So I encourage you as I do myself to try to love like the way Jesus love. I will leave you with this verse. 1 Corinthians 13:13, 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.