These days, the word “love” is tossed around so much that it really doesn’t have the meaning that it once did. People talk about how they love this type of food, or love a particular TV show/movie, or love a particular sport/team. Some people equate expensive gifts with love. Sadly, the true meaning of love has been cheapened. First Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us what love is supposed to look like. Yes, there are some emotional feelings attached to love, but it goes much deeper than that. If you’ve been married for longer than 2 minutes, you realize that there are times when you both get on each other’s nerves, but despite all the times that you’ve been angry or frustrated or hurt by your spouse, you still continue to “love” them. Love is a choice we make every day to do what we can to help care for the other person in the relationship.
When we say “I love you” to someone, we need to remember this verse in 1 Corinthians. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I being patient and kind? Am I seeking only after MY wants and not doing anything to help meet the needs of the one I say I love? Do I always bring up past mistakes in an effort to win an argument? Am I doing my best to protect this person? Am I willing to sacrifice my time to help them, putting aside what I want to do to so that they are being served?”
The best example of love was Jesus Himself. He washed the disciples’ feet in an effort to show that He did not come to be served but to serve those whom He loved. But the greatest example was Him sacrificing Himself in our place so that we would not have to face the wrath of God. He paid the ultimate price because of His love for us. That’s what it means to love. Not to be served by the other person, but to serve them. We should always be willing to serve, not be served. Love isn’t measured in dollar signs. It is measured in time and effort.