I had hoped to have this to you on Valentines Day, however; life happened. Major sickness swept through our home, leaving me to care for everyone from the oldest, my honey, to the littlest 2 year old, who ended up with pneumonia! God is so good, not once did I get sick in that three week period! Everyone has recovered and now we are trying to play catch up with laundry (but who am I kidding, are we EVER caught up on laundry?)!
As I sat to write, my thoughts became overwhelmed with where to take y’all! I mean LOVE! SO MANY avenues I could take you, but I had to reel myself in, and stick to a little old fashioned Bible school lesson! Nothing too complicated I hope! And please keep in mind, this post and last, is to set the foundation for this blog! Each post following, will be chalk full of inspirations (Biblical & Fitness), work out woes, jokes, goofy movie references and tons of fun! Deal?
In my intro, to this weeks post, titled “What is LOVE?” I asked, “is love really simple? Is the very act of LOVE easy to do?”
Well, the answer is yes… and no…. and yes… and no… for some yes, for some no, but for all… very possible!
It is important that you understand what the word LOVE means in our key verses 1 Corinthians 13:4-7!
The Bible is translated from Hebrew in the Old Testament, and Greek in the New Testament and that both of these languages, are picture languages! So it is important to understand that a word like LOVE, can have different meanings, depending on the “who, what, when, where and why” of a particular verse! Our key verses is in the New Testament, so we are reading the English translation from the Greek language!
Here is what Strong’s Concordance (an index of every single word in the Bible, no opinions, just pure translation of each word from the Hebrew & Greek languages) defines love in Greek in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 :
- Agapé: love, benevolence, good will, esteem, affection
The word agapé, literally means LOVE in wonder, excitement, eagerness… all in non-sexual meanings, however; these verses should be principles applied to our marriages as well!
The word agapé simply put is a “self-less, Christian love”.
These verses, are not directed to everyone: BUT that person you really don’t like, BUT an obnoxious out of control child, BUT a true enemy, BUT your obnoxious neighbor, BUT someone who doesn’t believe like you, BUT estranged family who has wronged you, BUT the abortion clinic, BUT a gay neighbor, BUT the POTUS, BUT the friend or family member who posted something on Facebook you don’t like or are offended by… these verses are for EVERYBODY no matter WHO they are, or what they have or haven’t done!
With all of the above said, lets read the verses again, keeping in mind that word LOVE in the text means a “self-less, Christian love”
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
LOVE IS SELF-LESS:
Rejoices in truth
Bears all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
LOVE ISN’T SELFISH:
Rude (behave rude)
Does not seek it’s own (selfish)
Is not provoked (easily angered)
Thinks no evil
Does not rejoice in iniquity (wickedness)
Now, when you break it down like this, it suddenly makes perfect sense! How can you apply this “self-less, Christian love” in your life? Use it as a filter BEFORE doing, or saying anything, to anybody!
Now I am gonna take a few minutes to talk to those of you in marriage or a dating relationship!
There are six Greek words used in the New Testament to describe love:
In our marriages, it’s ok to long after your spouse in a passionate manner! WHAT?? It’s ok to be playful, and flirtatious, and it’s ok to take care of your self by eating well and exercising (self-love)! Self-love not only benefits you in the long run, but it makes being intimate that much better! SWEET! It’s ok to serve your spouse in love, this isn’t being a doormat or not having a voice, but truly setting aside your selfish desires and serving your spouse as if you are serving Christ, cause you are!
Being intimate with our spouse, is a beautiful thing! God created sex and intimacy, between a husband and a wife, to: make babies, emotionally draw closer to each other, comfort, for fun/pleasure and to draw you closer to God! Just to name a few! SO COOL!
Love in an intimate relationship, however; is not pornography, ever! That is not love… not even close! Do not be deceived! Love is not making or manipulating the other to do what you want! Love is not abuse! These traits are all portrayed in pornography, as well in TV shows and movies like “50 Shades“(please note: the 50 Shades link to “Plugged In” contains explicit sexual and abusive content movie reviews pertaining to the movie)
God tells us to fix our eyes on Him:
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.Philippians 4:8
PLEASE do not get me wrong! I LOVE movies! But what I don’t love, is movies, books and TV shows, that dirty the marriage bed and turn it gross and abusive! And takes us so very far away from the above verse! Now look back at our key verses, where would pornography be placed? For sure under the “LOVE ISN’T” column!
Pornography is a very real, dangerous, and damaging addiction, but you no longer need to be bound and trapped in the addiction or forced into abusive situations! Please know there is help, for all involved! Please see this article by Focus on the Family called “Dealing With Pornography“.
In conclusion, lets strive and see the world through AGAPE LOVE: “Self-less” love, seeing EVERYONE no matter who or what they have or haven’t done through the eyes of Christ.
We are to take our eyes off ourselves and care for others. Christian maturity demands it.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” Philippians 2:3-4.
According to this passage, loving others requires humility, a valuing of others, and a conscious effort to put others’ interests first. Anything less than this is selfish and vain—and falls short of the standard of Christ.