Do you know what love is?
According to Webster’s dictionary, in its noun form, love is: “a strong affection for; an affection or tenderness felt by lovers; an affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests.”
Okay, I get that, but love goes so much farther than a feeling. Love is a choice, and according to Webster’s definition of the verb form, love is: “to like or desire actively.” This means allowing actions to speak louder than words.
Obviously, the ultimate example of love was displayed on an old rugged cross over 2,000 years ago. When God beheld the sinfulness of man, He knew He would have to take drastic action if man was to ever have a place in Heaven. Knowing the wages of sin, God offered up His only Son, Jesus, to take our place. Jesus died with the weight of our sin so that we wouldn’t have to die in our sins. On that bittersweet day, God put His love in action and proclaimed, “This is how much I love you.”
To be told we are loved is nice, but to be shown that we’re loved is indescribable. Sadly, with all the commercialism of today’s society, the showing of love has been reduced to presenting that special someone with lavish and expensive gifts. The media shouts, “Tell her you love her with diamonds.” The stores advertise, “Love him with a new cell phone.” The more expensive the gift, the greater the love, according to today’s worldly standards. And while flowers, jewelry and chocolates are wonderful gifts, the fact is that true love in action cannot be bought, though that’s not to say it won’t cost us something.
First Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter, and it is the guide to understanding love in action. Let’s take a look: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: (I Corinthians 13:4-8a)
When we boil it all down, we discover that love is unselfish and puts the needs of others before our own needs. Love doesn’t grow weary in well doing. It is patient, no matter how difficult the day has been or how tired we feel. Love in action involves allowing only good thoughts of our loved ones to linger in our minds. All others are recognized and banished. Real love involves honesty and complete trust. And last of all, love doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. For better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health, love stands strong.
Sound impossible? Well, it’s not; I witnessed such love earlier this week. Late Sunday afternoon, I began feeling tired and suffered from a persistent headache. The pain and fatigue lasted all night long, and I awoke Monday feeling terrible. When my husband arrived home from work Monday afternoon, he immediately noticed my frail state and set about doing all he could to help me. Despite having worked Sunday night until 3:00 in the morning and then all day Monday, he set aside his own fatigue and took care of me, massaging my aching neck and brewing me herbal teas. Throughout his care, he was kind and compassionate, showing me that my health was his only priority for the evening. He could have told me he loved me, and in fact, he probably did, but the words were unnecessary. He put love in action, and there was no doubt in my mind that our love is real.
How about you? What are doing to put your love in action? Remember, gifts and surprises are nice, but love in action goes far beyond what money can buy. When was the last time you experienced true love in action?