What Is Love?

What Is Love?

Perhaps we should ask, rather,
What does love do?

Love gives
No gem too precious, no present too costly;
Love will gladly pour it all out at the feet of the beloved

Love lives
Day in and day, out, moment by moment, love lives for the other

Love dies
Death to self; death to time, comfort, pride, even life itself

Love delights to die, that the other might live

Love kills
Should danger loom, or enemies attack,
Love lashes out in deadly wrath to protect the beloved

Love hates
No rival must threaten to displace her from the other’s inner heart,
For she knows that true love must be single, simple, pure, undivided

	And she is jealous for her lover’s heart-health

At the same time, however, 

Love gives life
New hope, new strength, new vision, new joy,
Not to mention newborns

Love shares
Having found her soul’s desire, she longs to share him with others,
That they, too, might know her beloved and enjoy his truth, goodness, and beauty

Love listens
She longs to know her beloved’s mind, to hear his voice, to share his inner world

Love speaks
She must tell him what is in her thoughts; her hopes, her fears, her strong desires

Love clings
Her beloved is hers, and she is his, so she must cleave to him with all her might,
Not because she fears to lose him, but
Because she aches for intimacy of body and soul

Love gives thanks
Knowing that she is unworthy, she cannot but constantly thank her gracious lover

Love complains
“Why do you do not believe me? Why have you be so long absent from me? Why do you ignore me, neglect me? When will you come and give me more of yourself? “
Love rebukes

“You have not done well, my dear one; you can do better than that.”

Love forbears, forgives, even forgets wrongs

Love lavishes praise
“How beautiful you are! How kind, and good, and strong, and brave, and brilliant!”

Love worships
She adores his beauty, his every motion, his strength, his tenderness

Long longs
Such a powerful desire must be satisfied, and cannot rest until it rests in the arms of the beloved

Love entangles
The embracing arms and flowing tresses of a lovely woman entrap her lover, who loves his sovereign slavery (Song of Solomon 7:5)

Love intoxicates
The wine of love fills the soul with gladness and sometimes even giddy joy

Love enslaves
Bound by devotion to his beloved, and desiring nothing but to please her, the lover submits to her every command and hastens to fulfill her slightest wish

Love liberates
Set free from self, love serves with liberty and abandon

Love lasts
Distance, time; quarrels, doubts; failures, disappointments; even rejection – nothing can dry up the springs of true love, for it wells up from the heart of God

Love surpasses all else – fame, wealth, power, prestige, possession, pleasures, success, even failure – none can compare with the matchless worth of love, for it is life itself

The Song of Solomon:

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!” 2:13
“Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” 2:2
“Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair!” 4:1
“You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse.” 4:9
“How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love.” 4:10
“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” 6:3
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” 7:10
“Jealousy is cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.” 8:6
“Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.” 8:7
“If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.” 8:7
“Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.” 8:14

“God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“The Son of God … loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Ephesians 5:25
“Love keeps no account of evil.” 1 Corinthians 13:5
“Love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My commands.” John 14:21
“The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” Exodus 34:7
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:10
“God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:4-5

“No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” Ephesians 5:29

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us.” Ephesians 4:32-5:2

“Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

“The LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24

“A many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” Revelation 3:19

“Whom the LORD loves He corrects.” Proverbs 3:12

“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8

“Love is of God.” 1 John 4:7

“The greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

”God is love.” 1 John 8