Luke 22: 42 & 44 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
I started to research what love is for a message I am giving to my youth group. I already knew from Scripture that love is unconditional, an action no matter what, but digging into it just opened my eyes even more and it has taken root so that I can walk in it even more.
When you look up the definition of love, the first thing to come up is that it is a feeling. Then the fifth example down said that it is an action of being unselfish. Both are actually biblical but the difference is that even though God feels emotions he doesn’t let those emotions control his actions. He tells us not to sin in our anger, he doesn’t say that anger is bad but sinning in it is, letting it control your actions is what hurts us and others.
Then as I researched more, the examples of being IN Love and AT love came up. Being in love is a feeling which motivates you to do for another person. Being at love is a stand, a position saying I will love you no matter what, it is unconditional.
This is especially important in marriage. God says we are to be with one person and nothing should break that bond (except cheating, which is huge because it has sexual bonds, but that’s another blog). The feeling of love will fade but if you actually stand by your word to love somebody, you will do so through action the rest of your life.
The problem with the world is that we act based on feelings. So in a dating relationship it feels good the first couple of years and then the feeling fades away. This is when many people divorce and move on. If it gets hard then they think they must have not loved that person like they thought and there is something better out there. Just to be disappointed again and again.
In the scripture above Jesus sets a wonderful example of being AT love with others. He knew he was about to be arrested, beaten, spit on and made fun of as we walked to a cross where nails would be driven through his feet and wrists so that he could die the most excruciating death, all for people who he loved but hated him through their actions.
He told God “take this cup”, he was saying “I don’t want to do this”. He was in anguish meaning feelings of despair, torture and heartbreak. He probably felt like throwing up from the intense mental and emotional pain he was in knowing about the physical pain to come. Yet, he said “Your will be done”.
Even though he didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy like he was in love with us, he had taken a stand to love us and he followed through with it even though it didn’t feel good. This is the true example of love and what it means to stand by your word.
If we just learn to love like God loves, then lives can be changed by that love. Just like Jesus dying on the cross offers us Salvation to change not only our lives but our destiny. Imagine the comfort of knowing that the people in your life will love you no matter what but will also be honest and challenge you so that you can have the fullness you were called to. How amazing would that security be?