What is true love? Love is (1)the other, (2) proactively, (3) unconditionally,A couple who invited me to solemnize for their marriage asked me to preach on 1 John 4:9-20 on their wedding day. It is quite different from the standard Eph 5 passage about husband and wife that we usually hear at weddings or from 1 Cor 13 on the meaning of love.
(4) at your inconvenience and (5) all the time.
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.
- 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
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 knows 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.
(4) at your inconvenience and
(5) all the time.
See also The 5C's of Marriage