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Love: More than words

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By Phyllis Perkins

 Love is more than words. It is courageous and a serving action. When another person consistently pays attention to our words, feelings and needs, we often develop and express a sense of love for that person.  

Love involves attentiveness in both giving and receiving.

Nine times out of 10 when people say “love,” they mean something else. They might be confusing love with the selfish physical desire of lust.  

Amnon, the son of King David, was in love with his half-sister Tamar. He desperately wanted to have sex with her. So he devised a scheme of pretending to be sick asking his father to let Tamar prepare him some food, and telling his father he would feel so much better if Tamar would feed him. While she was feeding him, he grabbed her. When Tamar refused his advances, Amnon raped her. 

As soon as he did this, his “love” turned to hatred – greater hatred than the passion he had felt when he “loved” her. It is very obvious the passion Amnon felt was not committed love, but sexual urges, and when they were fulfilled and the desire had subsided, the so-called love was gone too.

Don’t mistake lust for love. Love always involves commitment to the other person’s welfare. Lust is ultimately committed only to satisfying itself, even if that involves violating the object of love (II Samuel 6-15). A healthy definition of love is crucial to understanding the central message of the Bible.  According to the Bible, love is not confined to sexuality, nor is it primarily a feeling at all. The Bible teaches that love is a commitment, a decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another. After our love for God, nothing should take greater priority than the giving, sacrificial love we have for our spouse. God loved us so much that he gave his son – in “sacrificial love.”