Is it True Love?


Alan Smith tells the story of the two friends who were discussing the possibility of love. “I thought I was in love three times,” one fellow says.

“How so?” his friend asked.

“Five years ago I deeply cared for a woman who wanted nothing to do with me.”

“Wasn’t that love?” his friend asked.

“No,” he replies. “That was obsession. And then two years ago I was intensely attracted to a beautiful woman who didn’t understand me.”

“Wasn’t that love?”

“No,” he replies. “That was lust.

And just last year I met a woman aboard a cruise ship to the Caribbean. She was smart, funny, and a great conversationalist. And everywhere I followed her on that boat, I would get this strange sensation in the pit of my stomach.”

“Wasn’t that love?” his friend asked.

“No,” he replied. “That was motion sickness.”

On this Valentine’s day, we hear a lot about love. Not every feeling for another is really true love.  We use the word “love” to express feelings for everything and everyone.  Ice cream.  Dogs.  Sports.  Cars.  Family.

The Greeks had four different words for love.  One word expressed sexual attraction.  Another the tender feelings for a friend.  A third spoke of the bond and family-love.  But the fourth, agape’, is a love of the mind.  The will.  The whole being.  Barclay says it is a love “that loves the unlovable.”  It is love of commitment.

The Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, specifically speaks of 15 characteristics of agape’ love.  Let’s look at verse 7.

“(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

#1 Love knows no limit to its endurance.

We say, “There’s a limit!”  “I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”  “I can only take so much.”

Love can bear any insult. Withstand any injury.  Suffer any disappointment.  Love protects.

         #2 Love knows no end to its trust. 

                 Love and trust go together.  Love believes the best about the object of its love.  It does not automatically react with suspicion, mistrust or misgiving.  Love does not see people as they are, but as they can be.  Love’s special bond is birthed in the blood of Jesus.

     #3 Love knows no fading of its hope.

                  Jesus believed that no person was hopeless.  His love was expressed in hope toward the sinful woman.  The rich young ruler.  Nicodemus.  The woman taken in adultery.

Our God is a God of hope.  And a God who is the essence and epitome of love.  Because God is love, we are never without hope.  And because we belong to God and share in His love, we hold on to hope for those we love.

         #4 Love can outlast anything.

Love will overcome hate.  Vanquish bitterness.  Defeat envy and jealousy.  Love will survive even the bleakest of circumstances, situations and problems.  Neither fate or fortune can overcome love.

Because of sin we sometimes fall short.  Sin is debilitating.  Draining.  Discouraging.  Yet, love bears with triumph fortitude.

         #5 Love is the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.

Love never fails.       

Love is absolute in its permanency.  Dispensations change, but not love.  Miraculous gifts cease, but not love.  Prophecy reaches its end, but not love.

Love is absolute in its completeness. While at times our perception may be dulled.  Or our understanding diminished.  Or our emotions diluted.  But true love is absolute in its perfection.

Love is absolute in its supremacy.  Faith is a great quality.  By it we come to God.  It’s necessary for salvation.  It’s imperative for Christian growth.  And hope is indispensable to Christian endurance.  Without hope, there is no incentive to go on.  Nothing to look forward to.  But love outshines both faith and hope.  When faith is lost in sight, and hope is realized in heaven, love lives on.  It is the crowning quality of all other virtues.

On this Valentine’s day, I wish for you God’s agape’ love.  In your relationship with Him.  With your spiritual family.  With those in your physical family.  And with that special someone in your life.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Love

5 responses to “Is it True Love?

  1. Bill Hood

    We live by “lines in the sand” that guard us on every front. Most have clearly defined “limits” for friends, business, entertainment and politics, and what we allow our children to say and do. So, “lines in the sand” can be good things. Some may call it Conscience. An answer with a good conscience toward God is a very good thing. There are cases when I reach that line without really knowing things were headed that direction, and suddenly, there it is.

    Before obeying the Gospel, Donna and I agreed that we could just get a divorce if things didn’t “work out”. There is no real doubt in my mind that neither of us truly loved the other as God intended for a husband and wife. I am forever in debt, and I know Donna would echo the same, to the young preacher and his wife for loving us “strangers” enough to take their time in teaching us the way of the Lord.

    I am so grateful the Jesus erased those lines for me and Donna those many years ago. The only thing I can imagine would be greater than our lives together here, is life in Heaven forever with God and His Son.

    My heartfelt thanks to that young preacher and his wife!

  2. tommythornhill

    Truly, Biblical love is the tie that binds,not in words only but in action 1.Jn.3:17-18. – Tommy

  3. julie davidson

    ahh…1Cor 13th chapter…hope that you & Norma Jean had a “happy hearts day”, Bro Ken! thanks, as always, for the excellent post! 🙂 love in Him, Julie

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