What is Love?

How much ink has been spilled trying to define “love?”  Our culture tells us that love is all about feelings, which ebb and flow.  The problem is that kind of love is not dependable!  Is that the kind of love we want or need?

The Hebrew people of the Old Testament had a word for love, hesed, which scholars say could be more accurately translated as “covenantal loyalty.”  That is, the word traditionally translated “love” in the Old Testament actually means that a person is acting in keeping with the covenant that he or she has made to another.  Perhaps it is not surprising that there has been a recent trend to create “Covenant Marriages” in various states around the country.  Many people have become disillusioned with the flippant way that marriage vows are treated these days.  The “Covenant Marriage” movement is an attempt to recover the original meaning of marriage: a sacred, life-long covenant pledged between a man and a woman under the blessing of God and the church.  Such a marriage is not one entered into out of convenience or as a selfish attempt to get one’s own needs met.  A marriage covenant is a sacred, life-long pledge to seek the good of the other above your own needs, wants and desires.

This kind of love, Paul said, looks like Jesus:  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Eph. 5:25)

Husbands and wives, are you being faithful to the covenant you have made with your spouse before God and the church?  This month, as Valentine’s Day approaches, reaffirm your “covenantal loyalty” to your spouse through faithful, unselfish, caring actions.  I suspect that your feelings will enjoy a corresponding renewal!

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