How would you describe love? Is it a feeling? Is it an emotion? Is it some mystical force that you have no control over?
Is there a limit to the amount of love you have available?I have three children but if we had a fourth would I have as much love available to express to the fourth child or would I have to take some love away from the other three to share with the fourth?
If you can fall in love, what is required for you to climb back out? Do you love bacon as much as puppies, long walks on the beach, sunsets, reading books, hanging out with friends and family, chocolate or coffee? What do you love? Who do you love? Can you choose to love or not love?
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Has your love matured or do you still act like a child? Do you love your spouse unconditionally putting their needs ahead of your own or do you keep records of wrong, dwelling on past hurts, frustrations and aggravations? Are you patient and kind with your children when they act immaturely? Are you happy when misfortune strikes those you dislike? Have you given up on a sibling because of repeated past failures and poor decisions?
Perhaps you’ve been hurt in the past by someone you love and have put up barriers to protect yourself from experiencing that pain again, so you limit your love toward others, keeping them at an arms length not allowing anyone to get too close.
The only thing worse than being hurt by someone you love deeply is not loving anyone deeply enough to be hurt.
1 Peter 4:8 (CEV)
8 Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins.
Romans 5:8 (CEV)
8 But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
1 Corinthians 13:8 (CEV)
8 Love never fails!…
If love never fails, then you’re unstoppable when you are loving. The only limit to love is that which you place upon it.