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What Does The Bible Say About Love?

What does the Bible say about love?


Love is a descriptive word that everyone is familiar with.

It is used by parents, children, friends, family, and spouses to express their care and affection. However, only a few people know what love really is.

Is it a mere affection or attraction towards someone or something?

Or is it deeper than that?

The true definition of love can be found in the Bible, and we will look into what the Bible says about love in this article.

What Does The Bible Say About Love?what does the bible say about the love of money

The Bible gives us a clear and direct answer to this question, which many may struggle with accepting because of how “religious” it seems to them.

In 1 John 4:16, the Bible simply states: “…God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.”  In verse eight, a few verses before this passage, the writer repeats, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

God is the true definition of love. Love originated from Him. Love exists by Him. Love is manifested through Him.

Outside of Him, love does not exist. The sixteenth verse of First John chapter four reiterates this truth; those who dwell in love dwell in God. Love lives up to its true description in God.

Love is the very nature of God, and we learn love from God. Love goes far beyond butterflies in the belly and thumping of hearts in excitement. Love is a Spirit.

True and false lovewhat does the bible say about love your enemies

The adversary, the devil, is described as a roaring lion, roaming about seeking who to devour (1 Peter 5:8), and he works actively to make a counterfeit of all the nature and virtues of God, and love is not left out.

God demonstrates love in all His dealings.

You see it in the way He created the world, following a sequence, putting things that needed to be in place before others followed. He made the earth for man, and he made man also for the earth.

In Genesis 2:8-9, we see that He specially made the Garden of Eden packed with all man would need before placing man in it. Then, in verse fifteen, we see that He also put the man there to “dress it and keep it.”

The opposite can be said about the enemy. In Genesis 3, in the first appearance of the devil as the serpent, we see the demonstration of a false love. The serpent subtly came to Eve and presented his deceit in the form of caring for and looking out for her.

“…Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?… You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” Genesis 3:1-4

Paraphrased, the devil was literally saying, “What? God is withholding something from you! He lied to you.” This false love comes in care and support, but the intention is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).

The enemy still uses this tactic today, and many have fallen for his deception countless times. To distinguish true love from false love, you need to know God and the very characteristics of love.

Characteristics of love – 1 Corinthians 13

Love is Patientwhat does the bible say about self love

I Corinthians gives us a breakdown of the characteristics of love. Its first mention is patience (1 Corinthians 13:4).

The earlier KJV Bible translates the word “patient” as “suffereth long,” also known as “longsuffering.”

To suffer long means to have a great endurance threshold. It means not to rush the recipient and give room for growth. It also means not easily given to anger. 

The Bible describes God as “ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger” (Nehemiah 9:17). We read about it in detail with His relations to the children of Israel in scripture.

Many times, they remained stubborn in disobedience to His commandments time and time again, but He did not get tired of pardoning them and showing them love over and over again.

Even to us today, there are countless times we do things that can be disappointing and walk astray and away from Him, but He is always ready with open arms to have us back (Luke 15:1-32). 

God gives us enough room to grow in maturity.

He does not force us or rush us.

This is how we also should treat others (1 John 4:21). We are to be patient with others, understanding that God is patient with us too.

Love is Kindwhat does the bible say about gods love

The word “kind” means to show compassion and not to be harsh.

God was gracious to the Israelites (2 Kings 13:23), and He extends this graciousness to us in our present time.

He had compassion on the world, seeing it wallow in sin, heading for destruction, and stepped in to save us (John 3:16). 

Psalms 86:15 describes God as being compassionate and abounding in love.

You are to demonstrate kindness towards others as a child of God (Ephesians 4:32). Understand people’s shortcomings and show compassion towards them, helping to build them through encouragement rather than tearing them down.

Love is not Enviouswhat does the bible say about love and relationships

To be envious means to feel high jealousy over what others have that we lack but desire.

The root of envy is from the devil. The devil envied God’s status as God and wanted to become like God (Isaiah 14:13), and we see it led to a fallen state and brought about many other vices such as anger, bitterness, and grudge, which he takes out on the children of God (Revelations 12:9-12).

One way to know love is not within a heart is by seeing the presence of envy in such a heart.

The two cannot coexist.

Love rejoices at the success of others, roots for them, and seeks their good.

Envy does the opposite and generates a truckload full of destructive emotions to walk alongside itself.

Love is not Proudwhat does the bible say about self-love

We are told in Proverbs 16:18 that pride comes before destruction.

It is a strong indication of false love. God resists the proud (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Love is humble and meek.

Jesus Christ demonstrated complete humility, and He is to be our model.

Jesus said in Matthew 18:4 that those who humble themselves as a child are the greatest in God’s kingdom because those who are humble are exalted, but the prideful and boastful shall be brought down (Matthew 23:12). 

Paul advises in Romans 12:3 for us not to think too highly of ourselves.

We are to submit to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21), and such submission and pride resist with a vengeance. 

Love is respectful and courteouswhat does the bible say about finding love

1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love does not behave unruly. It is not ill-mannered or disrespectful.

These come from the devil. Love is instead calm, respectful, and polite. Having true love is demonstrated by your behavior.

The Bible tells us that David behaved well before King Saul and his subjects in all his dealings (1 Samuel 18:5,14, 1 Samuel 18:30). Rashness and rudeness cannot be a function of true love.

Love does not seek its ownwhat does the bible say about love of money

Love is selfless and not selfish. It does not seek its own gain but the gain of others. Greed and covetousness stem from selfishness.

Love, however, is generous. God is generous with His mercy, forgiveness, and grace; He gives it abundance.

He does not withhold anything good from us (Psalms 84:11). Jesus demonstrated selflessness by giving His life on the cross so we can be saved.

There’s no greater generosity and selflessness than that! We are to seek not only our self-interests but the interests of others as well (Philippians 2:4).

Love does not think evilwhat does the bible say about true love

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God’s thoughts towards us are of peace.

His love does not conceive evil. Any profession of love that has to be displayed through evil or sin cannot be true.

A love that holds onto grudges is tainted by a disruptive emotion. It thinks evil towards another person, waiting for the right time to exert vengeance. 

We should not harbor evil in our hearts because it will stain whatever form of love we are trying to show. Forgive and let go, even as God forgave and gave you a clean slate.

Rejoices in the truthwhat does the bible say about love and marriage

Love arbors everything that is unrighteous.

It will not lie or deceive.

If anything, this is a clear characteristic of true love. Anything founded upon lies will crumble like a pack of cards.

Lies hide in darkness, but the truth dwells in light (John 3:19, Ephesians 5:13). However, love resides in the light and is gladdened by truth.

The devil is the father of lies (John 8:44), and his end is clearly destruction (Revelation 20:10). But truth endures forever (Psalms 117:2, Psalms 100:5).

Truth is a major characteristic of love for God. He is called the true God (Jeremiah 10:10, John 3:33, John 17:3). Any love outside of truth is false and a product of the devil’s input.

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Love is the very essence of who God is, and the Bible talks extensively about it.

God first demonstrated His love by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).

He shows us in His word and through Jesus Christ how we are to love.

We started by saying love is a Spirit in this article.

Only those who have the Spirit of God can love truly (Galatians 5:22, 2 Timothy 1:7).

Trying to love without God will be like trying to breathe underwater.

It will be filled with pain and great difficulty, which could be fatal. 

The command to love our neighbor is followed by the first and greatest command to love God.

Once you love God and submit to Him, the Spirit of God within you begins to teach you how to love, walking you through rightly exhibiting the characteristics of God’s very nature. Only then can you manifest the greatness of the love of God to others around you. 


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