There was a song called “I Wanna Know What Love Is” made popular by the group Foreigner many years ago. Some of the lyrics to the song are as follows:
I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I’m older
Through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder
In my life there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
What Is Love
Listening to this song recently made me pause to consider what love is.
Love is a verb. It’s action. It’s doing. We mistakenly think that love is a feeling, even the song says I wanna feel what love is. You likely feel something initially – butterflies, sweaty palms, quickened heartbeat – but as the song “What’s Love Got to Do with It” explains, that’s only physical, and those feelings don’t last long.
Feelings aren’t facts and are in fact, fleeting and fickle. It can be difficult to feel love when someone has upset you. When we understand that love is action, we act with love even when we don’t necessarily feel like it.
The Love Chapter
I Corinthians 13 is known as the Bible’s “Love Chapter”. The stanza about taking time to think things over and read between the lines made me think, “there’s no need to read between the lines” with 1 Corinthians 13 because the scripture very clearly CONVEYS what love is.
Love is patient, love is kind, love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, love always perseveres.
As clearly as I Corinthians 13 shows what love is it also shows what love isn’t.
Love isn’t jealous, love isn’t proud, love doesn’t dishonor others, love isn’t rude, love isn’t easily angered, love doesn’t keep score.
The “Love Chapter” is often used in wedding ceremonies. In fact, it was one of the readings at my wedding to my ex-husband. Along with vows this passage of scripture, when heeded, provides the framework for a strong marriage. And when it’s not will likely result in the marriage collapsing in on itself, as I sadly can attest.
Through the Clouds Love Shines
I suffered much heartache and pain when the love don’ts were shown to me as opposed to the love dos and wasn’t sure if I could face it again after my marriage ended. However, through the dark clouds, I could see love shine – the love of God. The agape love that is patient and kind, a love that protects, that trusts, that perseveres. A love that allows me to hope that one day, in addition to the love that I know I have from God, because God is love (1 John 4:8), I will also have romantic love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8