Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Maybe back in middle school or high school. You noticed someone in class, but it was more than just noticing them. You had feelings when you looked at them, when you talked to them, feelings you never had before. Your heart beat faster and you had a funny feeling in your stomach. Must be love, that mysterious feeling that you fall into. You don’t seem to have much control over it, it’s either there or it’s not. When the feeling is there, it’s great, you’re in love. When the feeling is gone, love must be gone, or so many people think.
Love is not just a feeling. When the Bible talks about love, it uses the Greek word agape. Agape means to make a choice to appreciate and act in the best interests of someone else. It is used both for loving God and for loving people. So, love is a choice, a choice to do the right thing for someone else, whether the feelings are there or not. Feelings come and go in even the best of relationships. However, when the choice and commitment to love remains strong, it actually leads to the deepest feelings of love over the long haul.
How can you learn about love, the kind of love that lasts? The best place to start is with the person who invented love, God Himself. God showed us what love was all about in the person of Jesus. Jesus showed us love in His life and His death. It applies to how we love one another. NLT 1 John 4:19 We love each other as a result of his loving us first.
For a more indepth treatment of this topic, listen to my February 13, 2005 message entitled Laying A Foundation Of Love