Understanding the true meaning of love
For many people, especially young men or women, the attraction to someone of the opposite sex is seen as a sign of love (what people call love at first sight) instead of what it really is; which is the fact that the natural hormones have started to manifest. Yet for others, having sex with someone of the opposite sex is assumed to be a demonstration of love – they even erroneously call it making love. To have sex with someone doesn’t mean you love the person.
Unfortunately, the reality is that true and enduring love is deeper and more engaging than sex or the fluffiness of the heart. To love someone according to God’s standard, as written in the Bible, is hard work and is hinged on four pillars:
• Selflessness – when you say you love someone because anytime you’re with him/her you feel good, then what you have is not love but lust. The difference between love and lust is that lust is self-gratifying – my feelings, my needs, and my happiness, etc, whereas love is selfless and primarily seeks the good of the other. You take joy in making your spouse happy because you love him/her. So, if as a single lady, a guy, is insisting that you sleep with him before marriage because that is the only way to prove you love him, such a man doesn’t love you but is lusting after you. He wants you to satisfy his yearning for sex. Don’t sell yourself cheap, child of God.
• Care – loving someone means you are willing to spare no effort or price to cater and care for the other person, as much as is humanly possible. True love demands that you be extravagant in the attention you show to the things that concern your partner. You are also committed to making the life of the other person better in any way possible. Caring means the person’s wellbeing is uppermost in your mind.
• Forgiveness – loving someone means you have the capacity to overlook the other person’s shortcomings and faults. Love enables you to develop patience and longsuffering with your partner. If you cannot forgive your spouse, it only means you have not yet developed the capacity to truly love that person as the Bible demands. For the Christian, the principle of forgiveness is fundamental to our Christian journey and it is love that helps us to carry this out effectively.
• Trust – loving someone is to trust the person. Trusting people is risky, because humans have the tendency to fall short and betray our trust. But in spite of that, love demands that we place our trust in our spouse. In many cases of divorce or separation, it is the breakdown of trust that killed the love they once profess to have for each other.
It is important to say that from the Biblical perspective, love is something that can grow, if given the enabling environment and the necessary ingredients of selflessness, care, forgiveness and trust. If love “can wax cold,” it means the reverse is also possible, and that is that love can grow and turn into a glowing fire.
Therefore, you don’t need to have the feeling of fluffiness of the heart before you can marry someone. What you need is God’s stamp of approval and love will naturally grow, if you do the right things!
Enquiries: Elshaddai Covenant Church, 7, Social Club Road, Off Charity Road, Abule-Egba. Tel: 08080929292 (Calls only); 08182281184 (WhatsApp messages only).