On meditating on the verses, using different versions, I have the following to share about True Love. The New Living Translation uses the term "Real Love". If you are short on time, then read 1 John 4:9-13.
True Love is benefiting others unconditionally at one own expense all the time.
- True Love takes the initiative … love 1st … do 1st… apologize 1st…
- Unconditionally. It enables Covenantal Relationship – 100% relationship vs 50%-50% not you do your part than I do my part.
- At our expense, sacrifice, NOT at our convenience. Going out of the way to do something nice for the other. Love will inconvenience you. Love costs you but the love is more valuable than the costs.
- In Action not in Speech alone. … God sent His Son, to take away….
- True Love comes from God.
How to have True Love
- Know that you have God's love in you. v13 God has given us His Spirit & v8 God is love.
- Know and Taste the Love of God 1st so that we can love others.
v10a "since" God loved us that much so we ought to love each other
- We love each other because He loved us first. 1Jn 4:19
Love increases with Loving
v12 If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Other versions uses make complete, becomes complete, find full expression.... His love in us is fulfilled only when we love other - extending God's love to others. On another sense, as we love, we experience the effect of God's love and gain better understanding and passion of His love.
Perfect love cast out fear v18The greatest stress for many people is Fear - Fear of loss of love, health, wealth, friendship, and worth.
The only way to cast out such fear is the unconditional and therefore unchanging True Love. You're loved not because of your performance but because of the Love of your Lover for you. In contrast, the world only know conditional love - the Counterfeit Love.
It is love with Conditions – I love you because … you are pretty, rich, nice to me, capable, make others admire me etc. This love is self-centered and not other centered. If it is conditional,then it is temporary. When you are not what I love you for; when you fail to live to my standards (which is changing with time), I don’t love you anymore!
Have True-Love from spending time with God. Love (1)the other, (2) proactively, (3) unconditionally, (4) at your inconvenience and (5) all the time. Practice it. Be the Right One for the other (this is not option but a command).
When one of you asked the other 5 years from now, “Do you love me as much as at our wedding ?”, the answer should be - "No! ..... But much more." True Love increases with Time through loving…. May both of you truly love one another with the True-Love of God and build up an increasing loving and binding relationship with each other.