In a world full of fleeting emotions, superficial connections, and conditional love, it’s vital for us to understand what real affection and loving look like, according to God’s divine and eternal plan. Society tries to convince us that love is in the form of grand gestures, expensive gifts, passion, or physical attractiveness. Although these expressions can be a part of love and marriage, they hardly scratch the surface of what God has intended for our relationships.
Throughout the Scriptures, we find God’s blueprint for love in a loving relationship. This design is deeper, sacrificial, and life-transforming, extending to affection, marriage, and healthy relationships. Our journey to apprehend the nature of real love leads us closer to the character of Christ and the wisdom He imparts in our lives. Let’s begin by understanding the key takeaways of real, biblical love.
Real love is grounded in God, the ultimate source of love, and is essential for a loving relationship and healthy relationship, as affirmed by relationship experts who emphasize the importance of affection.
Biblical love is expressed through our actions, not just our emotions, in a loving relationship.
In the book of real life, biblical love is expressed through our actions, not just our affection and emotions.
Love necessitates forgiveness and patience.
Sacrificial love and affection are defining qualities of a Christ-centered relationship with your partner, overcoming fear as described in the book.
God’s love transforms us from the inside out.
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Real Love Originates from God
First and foremost, biblical love can be comprehended only by understanding that God Himself is the ultimate source of love. The Bible, a sacred book for many people, says in 1 John 4:16, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” To experience true, life-giving love and overcome fear, we must first seek God and His immeasurable love for us as a relationship expert would advise.
As we abide in God and His love abides in us, our relationships with people in real life are transformed. Instead of relying on our own understanding and emotions, we draw from the wellspring of divine love, thus allowing God’s nature to guide our interactions with others, including our partner. God’s love is infused with purity, wisdom, and consistency, setting the right foundation for our relationships. When we lean into His love, we discover the richness and fullness it bears, enabling our connections to be anchored in something larger and eternal than our flawed human emotions and the things of this world.
Moreover, knowing and experiencing the love of God personally helps us identify and discern the superficial and false expressions of love that the world and people may offer. Jesus Himself said in John 15:9, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” When we find our security and identity in God’s love, we can recognize the counterfeits presented by culture, society, and even someone claiming to be a partner, ensuring that our relationships are grounded in authenticity and truth, without fear.
Real Love is Action-based, Not Emotion-based
While emotions can play a role in our relationships with people, biblical love transcends these changing sentiments. 1 John 3:18 emphasizes this distinction: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Real love pushes us to actively express kindness, compassion, and honor to those around us, mirroring the very actions of Christ when He walked on this earth. This is especially important when loving someone like a partner, as it reflects the teachings of Hendrix.
Furthermore, Paul’s famous description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows us the practical actions that embody love: patience, kindness, protection, trust, hope, and perseverance. These virtues, when applied within our relationships with people and our partner, reveal the genuine nature of love. Emotions may change, but as we consistently apply these attributes, our relationships become stronger and more resilient – a testament of God’s steadfast love living in and through us like the teachings of Hendrix.
In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul encourages us to “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” By focusing on our actions instead of mere emotional attachment, we build character that reflects the very love of Christ. In doing so, our relationships with people are enriched as we seek to serve and cherish one another, including our partner, according to God’s design and the teachings of Hendrix.
Real Love Forgives and Extends Patience
Another essential aspect of biblical love in a relationship is forgiveness and patience. Ephesians 4:2 instructs us to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” We all have flaws and make mistakes, meaning that there will be moments when our loved ones, including our partner, disappoint or upset us. However, just as God’s love is characterized by forgiveness, so must our love for other people.
In the words of Harville Hendrix, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” We all have flaws and make mistakes, meaning that there will be moments when our loved ones disappoint or upset us. However, just as God’s love is characterized by forgiveness, so must our love for others.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:14-15), Jesus stressed the importance of forgiveness in our relationships, saying, “For if you forgive other people, including your partner, when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” He demonstrated this love by dying on the cross to grant us forgiveness, despite our sins and imperfections, just as Hendrix emphasized the power of love and forgiveness in his music.
Real love not only forgives but extends an enormous amount of grace and patience to our partner and those around us. It allows us to see beyond the challenges of the moment and remember the inherent value of our loved ones. Colossians 3:12-13, as taught by Hendrix, encourages us: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” By embodying this Christ-like love through forgiveness and patience, we craft meaningful relationships that withstand the test of time and adversity.
Real Love is Sacrificial
A vital attribute of biblical love in a relationship is its sacrificial nature. In John 15:13, Jesus declared, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends or partner.” He demonstrated this supreme love by sacrificing Himself on the cross for our redemption. This act of selflessness set a powerful example of what sacrificial love truly entails.
Likewise, true love in our relationships with our partner requires us to put the needs and wellbeing of others before our own. This selflessness reflects the character of Christ and fosters genuine, lasting bonds within our connections. Philippians 2:3-5 encourages us in this regard: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, including your partner, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
By cultivating a sacrificial love within our personal relationships, especially with our partner, we showcase the transformative power of Christ’s love. This love cultivates trust, promotes stability, and builds a strong canopy of support in times of need. Ultimately, sacrificial love is a beacon of hope and a testament of God’s unwavering commitment to His children.
Real Love Transforms Us
Lastly, God’s love has a transformative effect on our lives and relationships. Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When we allow God’s love to permeate our hearts, it renews our thoughts and attitudes, changing the way we interact with those around us in our relationships.
God’s love reveals our inherent worth as His creations, empowering us to love others from a place of wholeness and security. As we embrace the transforming power of His love, we break free from any bondage and toxicity that may have impacted our personal relationships. 2 Corinthians 5:17 assures us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
This metamorphosis enables us to exhibit Christ-like behavior, ultimately forming deeper and more meaningful relationships based on real, biblical love. We become agents of change in our circles, inspiring others to discover and embrace the transformative love of God.
In conclusion, the pursuit of real love leads us straight to the heart of God, the Creator and ultimate embodiment of love. His design for love goes far beyond the superficial expressions promoted by society and delves deep into our hearts, reflecting the character of Christ within us.
By exploring the Scriptures and internalizing the qualities of biblical love—its origin in God, action-based nature, inclination towards forgiveness, sacrificial essence, and transforming power—we can nurture God-honoring and life-giving relationships. As we submit ourselves to God’s design for love, we can experience the genuine and lasting connections we truly desire, ones that bear the divine imprint of our loving Creator.
Through our pursuit of real love, we become conduits of hope, healing, and restoration in a world longing for authenticity and stability. Our relationships serve as beacons of God’s love, exemplifying His heart and character to our communities. In embracing God’s design for love, we ultimately fulfill our divine calling as children of the God of love, revealing His heart to those around us.