and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3: 17
See that little “a” in the scripture verse above? That’s a footnote marker and it highlights that this could be said: “Or My Son, My (or the) Beloved.” With the footnote, we understand a little more clearly that Jesus wasn’t just loved by God, but He was Love.
The present understanding in our culture about love couldn’t be more twisted and relative. Love is something that makes you happy, giggle, feel good. Something that you get something out of. Something that waxes and wanes. I could passionately love something as seriously as a husband of almost-25 years or I could passionately love something as ridiculous as the latest pair of shoes.
Clearly, Jesus was not this kind of flippent love. I’m not sure we can honestly understand what kind of love Jesus is, but going to His word in 1 John is a very good place to start.
Let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (vs. 7)
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (vs. 9-10)
God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (vs. 16)
If you don’t know the word ‘propitiation’, look it up. It’s not ooey-gooey, sweet feelings, that I’ll tell you. True love, and we know this is what everyone is searching for, is found in Christ. He gave His life for us. Giving up all of His rights, sacrificing Himself for another one who wasn’t worthy of it, that is love.
While I don’t plan on going to the cross on behalf of my husband, I can practice this kind of love toward him, though. I can have a mindset that serves him without grumbling. I can say ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’ to something. I can stop demanding my rights and consider his perspective. And, when I say “I can” do these things, I, of course, mean “I can do all things through Christ.”
Are we demanding others respect our rights? Are we re-writing the Bible (or maybe throwing it out altogether) so our needs are met? This is not Love. This is not Jesus’ example. Consider how you can put yourself aside today–think about how many times you are focused on yourself and not others. Ask God to give you the ability to love more like Him.