As a young kid my family said they loved me all the time, at the end of conversations, saying goodbye, even just leaving the room. Even now my mum and dad says it to me on the phone at the end of our conversation. So do my friends. But once I became a christian the phrase took on a different meaning. However before we even go there, lets look at what ‘I love you’ even mean?
If I asked my friends each person would say different things. Some would say it is a feeling or an emotion, some would say its a decision someone makes regarding another person. But what is the actual dictionary definition? ‘To have strong feelings of affections or a great interest and pleasure in something’.
But isn’t love more than just feelings? Because feelings change everyday. Isn’t it just more than a selfish state of a heart? Because there will be times where I don’t take pleasure in being with a friend because relationships are hard. Does that mean I no longer love them?
Well you could say actions have to be involved as well. Because quite often people will say the words but don’t have the actions to back it up. Which does make sense. I’m sure we’ve all been in situations were I love you has been followed by betrayal or manipulation. That isn’t love is it?
So what even is it?
Well true love, biblical love is sacrificial. Now you can also argue that you don’t have to be a christian to show this type of love. And that is true to some extent, individuals in the army die to save another life, however this type of love is still based on condition. It’s still based on the condition that you would do the same for them too. But true sacrificial love involves giving to people when you get nothing out of it. For this to happen, it involves knowing the only true and perfect love that has ever existed. Not only do you need to know about it but you need to truly know it.
When Jesus died for us on the cross, he got nothing out of it. He did it purely so we could have a relationship with him, but he didn’t need us, he doesn’t need us.
True love gives to others when you get nothing out of it. For me that means persevering even when I often don’t want to. For others it is continuing to show love to others when they feel no emotion, for others still it is clearing your calendar so you can be there for another going through suffering.
It isn’t that I have a problem with the words ‘I love you’, I have a problem with societies view on what it exactly is.