Bible Reading: John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
IF LOVE is more than lust, romance, or sex, you might be thinking, how do I know if I’m in love? Big question-especially when you find yourself magnetized by a member of the opposite sex. There are three relationship behaviors people often label as love:
“I love you if…” if love is conditional love. It is given or received only when certain conditions are met. The only way to get this kind of love is to earn it by performing the right way. People who are dating or married might withhold love if their partner fails to do or be what they want. If love is basically selfish. It’s a bargaining chip offered in exchange for something desired.
If love isn’t true love. If you sense pressure to perform a certain way to gain the love you desire, the relationship isn’t based on true love.
“I love you because...” The second kind of love-because love-is a close cousin to if love. One person loves another because of something he or she is, has, or does. Someone might say, “I love you because you are so beautiful” or “I love you because you make me laugh.” Because love sounds pretty good. Almost everyone likes to be loved for who they are or what they do. It’s certainly preferable to if love, which you constantly have to work hard to earn.
Because love still isn’t true love. You might find yourself attracted to someone because of his or her personality, position, intelligence, skill, or ability. But sooner or later those things change-or your tastes change. If your love isn’t founded on more than what that person has or does, it won’t last.
“I love you, period.” The third kind of love is love without conditions. This kind of love says, “I love you no matter what you might be like deep inside. I love you no matter what might change about you. You can’t do anything to turn off my love. I love you, period!” That’s the kind of love God has for you-the kind that prompted him to give his Son, Jesus, to die for your sins.
Love, period isn’t blind. It can-and should-know all it can about the other person. God knows all about your sin, but he loves you anyway. Love, period might spot someone’s failures, shortcomings, and faults. Yet it totally accepts him or her without demanding anything in return. There’s no way you can earn this type of love, nor can you lose it. It arrives with no strings attached.
REFLECT: Do you love the people around you with “love, period” kind of Love? What would it take to base your guy-girl relationships on that love without strings?
PRAY: As you talk to God in prayer today, thank him for his unconditional love and ask him to fill you with his love for others.