The question: Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of love?
Yes. And no. Because all love comes from one thing, but that thing isn’t just an idea or a definition. He’s not even a thing. He’s God.
God is love.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
The prompt talks about our different love relationships: It could be anything from friends and family to a pet or a place. What connects them all?
Our very understanding of love comes from God, the One who is love itself. God showed us what love is when He sent His Son to die for our sins. To pay the ultimate price; to tear away the sin that was separating us from Him.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Some people say, “I don’t believe that God, if He exists, loves me. If He did, He wouldn’t let all these bad things happen to me.” First of all, as the verse above says, God showed His love for you on the cross. He died for you. And not for anything you did; no, He did it while we were still sinners. He did it while we were His enemies, because sin is the opposite of love. He did it because of His love for you, in spite of the way we have turned our backs on Him.
And why do bad things happen? I could very well say, “If God really loves me, He wouldn’t let me have this surgery on Tuesday. He would heal my back right now.” You know, I have been praying for God to heal me, and He hasn’t. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t love me! My mom had cancer four years ago, and to this day she says that it was one of the most peaceful and joyful times of her life. My point: Who am I to say that God doesn’t have a purpose in this? That by allowing this He doesn’t love me? The Bible tells me that everything He does is for my benefit and because of His love for me. God has a greater purpose, and that’s a fact. And honestly, it just seems kind of silly to argue with the God of the universe, the Creator, my Savior, that what He’s doing isn’t loving when He is in fact love itself.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
We are the bride of Christ. We call God our Father, and He calls us His children. The love relationships that we have in this life are tiny reflections of the incredible love He has for us. And praise God for His love! It is that love that saves us, that calls us from the grave and into life. Praise God!
Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me! (Psalm 66:20)