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by Adrian Selmon
In this day and age, love seems to be an antiquated notion. For a lot of singles and people in general, they don’t understand what kind of love they should be looking for. First Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” as it has been commonly known, gives us a breakdown of the kind of love we should be looking for. Paul makes it clear that love is essential to everything we do:
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, ESV).
Love is crucial to how we treat others. We have to look at what we do and say because that is the measure of whether or not love is in us. The apostle John shows us in his epistle this idea as well:
"For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:11, 16-18).
We need to find the kind of love that God shows us. Paul illustrates this in this rest of the passage we started with:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
This passage is easy to say, but very hard to do. Living out love in this way is a day-to-day exercise. This is the kind of love that we should be looking for: the kind that has God present in it.
In our world today, we have a skewed version of what love means. The idea of love in our human hearts is not the right view. We allow our emotional compass to guide us instead of God. We tend to take the first thing that comes along, and it turns out to be a disaster. We have to take back what love should be. God should be the focus of our love, and we need to make sure that we are showing that to others.
Adrian Selmon is a husband and father-to-be of a baby boy. He is an elementary school teacher.
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--Thank you, Adrian! This is a great reminder of how God defines love--so different than how our culture defines it.
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