What is love?
I feel compelled to write about this controversial topic in the hope that I will come up with the correct biblical definition which has been so corrupted and overshadowed by the worldly form of love that does not last.
The world has confined love to mean ‘affection between people of the opposite sex’ and this has been given so much emphasis that the most important form of love, Agape or Godly love is no longer of much consequence.
The Bible uses the word ‘love’ in defining the greatest of the Ten Commandments given to the Israelites, which Jesus pointed out in Matthew 22:36-40 NIV; “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like the first: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. It really takes some experience to learn that Jesus meant business when he underscored this commandment.
In other words he meant that any other form of love not founded on this principle is meaningless since it does not glorify God and is in most cases selfish.
Some people have portrayed sincere love for their parents, relatives, friends and spouses. Such emotion, unless based on the love commandment is merely human and imperfect--sometimes leading to hurt, pain and trauma especially upon untimely events like separation, divorce and even death.
According to the greatest commandment, no matter how much you love someone or something it should only take second place in your heart after God.
Let us be realistic, how many people actually think of God more than their families, jobs, friends or spouses?
In most cases these things take up so much of our time and attention that we hardly think of our Creator, giving flimsy excuses like “He understands, He loves us all or He is merciful”.
The free time we get is spent relaxing or ‘taking your mind off things’. This is in form of socialising, going out for a drink or dancing and other forms of entertainment, that at times prove destructive.
One would argue that these things were created for our pleasure but should they take God’s place in our lives and if not, then why do they draw us further and further away from Him?
I will not go into details of what takes our focus away from the Lord but I think we all know that God is the one who created all these things and He is the one who takes them away from us as he pleases; even our lives.
However, God so desires our fellowship that He used the same principle of love and offered His only begotten Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for the world so that whoever believes in Him may be reconciled and share eternal life with Him (John 3:16).
The second greatest commandment “'Love your neighbour as yourself” is God’s definition of how people should co-relate after having put Him first in their lives whether relatives, spouses, friends or colleagues.
Now if all the romantic movies, novels, advertisements and other educative and entertainment material would advocate for this, the world would have much more peace, less hatred, less heartbreaks, deceptions and divorce cases.
This principle applies to all spheres of life-not only the marital arena-as it can effectively rule professional relations among other social interactions, political power sharing as well as International relations. In fact, it is the founding doctrine for the world’s diverse religious teachings.