My husband and I recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary. In the five years that I have known him we have learned, and will continue to learn, a great deal about love. My husband takes the meaning of love so seriously that he waited until the day he proposed to profess his love to me. That is a day I will never forget, and it was made even more special because he had saved those words just for me. Two years ago we pledged to love one another as long as we both shall live.
Many couples recite these vows but drastically misunderstand the meaning, and they are often sadly disillusioned. What does it mean to love someone truly? First John 3:16 clearly illustrates the meaning of love: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” Christ so loved us that He sacrificed His own life that we may live eternally. While our love for one another may not require such extreme action, we must look to Christ as our example; His love was selfless and it required daily sacrifice.
First John 3:17 states, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Many times we find ourselves too busy to be bothered by those in need, whether it is a small favor or a large task. The next time there is a call by someone in need, commit yourself to show Christlike love, whether you commit to pray for them, spend time with them, or cook a meal for someone. Whatever you do, do not close your heart to them.
The world tells us that love is a feeling, something that comes and goes. Many marriages have ended because couples claim that they have “fallen out of love.” As Christians, we know that this cannot be. Although we may not feel loving every day, we must commit ourselves to love, despite the lack of feeling or emotion that we all experience at one time or another.
Love is an action, not an emotion or feeling. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). This applies not only in marriage relationships, but to our extended families, friends, and the church body. Claiming to love with your lips is not enough, we must show love through our actions. Let us always strive to follow Christ’s example by expressing our love for others through our selfless, sacrificial deeds.