This how we know what love is: Jesus laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters - 1 John 3:16I was about to misquote that verse by saying "This is how we know what true love is..." and I don't know, I would like to think my mistake suits it better. We all know love, we have had mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends and enemies, we've learnt about the human interaction that is love. I'm going to tell you something amazing here though, you can know perfect love, true love. God created love and knows it in it's purest sense since He saw it's first movement and use. That's why I think that verse is slightly off, well at least in the NIV I haven't checked other versions, because it is through Jesus's sacrifice that we can know what pure, true love is.
So what is my natter about this week? Well it's simply this. We spend a good amount of time during our lives on earth searching for, or sharing, love. Yet whilst most of us do this we miss out on by not seeing the love that is freely given to us by God. We hold love on a high pedestal, in fact some people see a loving relationship on earth as success and the source of happiness, but I would challenge that viewpoint. Success does not come from being made happy by things on Earths, because ultimately most of it can be sourced back to you wanting to ameliorate yourself whether in emotions or in material gain or something not included in those categories. True love found in God drives us to do things that do not help us, albeit to the non-christian world they can be boiled down to something selfish, what drives us is not ameliorating ourselves but giving glory to God through them.
I realize that a lot of people reading this will have objections due to the fact I'm not delving deeply into this but I really just want to show the greatness, and difference, of God's love to human love. This really does raise the point of always putting God first, even in relationships. A relationship built around a mutual love of God and with God in it's center will always be more fortified than any other type of relationship. Now I'm not saying other relationships won't work and that without God you are doomed to failure in your relationships, what I'm saying is that with God as the center there is likely to be a greater sense of unity and I do think it will work better. I'm no expert though since I haven't had a girlfriend yet but I sure hope I can remember to put her second and God first if I ever do get one.
I could go on to all different kinds of love but I think whilst I narrow it to girlfriend/boyfriend at the end of the last paragraph, I do think it can apply to most, if not all, relationships. So I challenge us, as Christians, to always put God first at all times.