What is love? I really hope someone is singing 'baby don't hurt me' in their head right now, but seriously, what is love? I think that we would all answer that question differently and it can be taken quite subjectively, love is a pretty personal thing after all.
It's quite interesting how quickly we can bound the term love around as well; 'I love that cake' or 'I love dogs'. But the most common one of all is probably 'I love you'. Sometimes I think that as a society we have watered down love, and just like the word hate it get's thrown out of our mouths quite quickly.
What does the Bible say about love? Well it's got quite a lot to say about it, but the most common verse that people will quote about love is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “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."
Now when we apply that kind of context to the way we experience love in our world, our perception of love will really change. It makes me realise that as much as I might think that I do at times, I really don't love cake. The word love is a deep and powerful term that we should use carefully and correctly. In fact, if we really take a step backwards and look at that description of love in full then we can't possibly live up to that standard, we are human after all and we all make mistakes. The only being capable of living up to the standard of love described here is God himself, Father, Spirit and Son. I've seen a lot of people replace the word Love with God when teaching on this verse which helps you to really understand the character of God and the depth of His love for you. Through doing this we can reflect God's love out to others and strive to exhibit a glimmer of the love described in Corinthians.
I pray that we would all grasp the depth of love that God has for us and let it reflect out to other people in order to show them the love that God has for them too.