Human love is complicated because we each esteem and value things differently. For instance, I might appreciate comfort – a fuzzy blanket, a worn in pair of sneakers, or easy conversation. I might even say I ‘love’ those things. You, on the other hand, might have a preference for beauty – a magazine-worthy kitchen, a sparkling gemstone, or someone who looks oh-so-good by your side. You may be said to ‘love’ those things. The love I give is going to be spritzed with the love I esteem, so it will undoubtedly offer comfort, but it may not be pretty. And the love you offer to me will have elements of beauty but may not include the ease I hope for. When we try to love each other this way, the disconnect stops us short. My advice is to STOP! We can’t love each other adequately with our own brands of love! Love is supposed to be unconditional and completely selfless, and we’re told we need to love all other humans this way. It’s a recipe for failure.
But Jesus. He does love perfectly. This is His description of the love He has:
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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
He has so much of this perfect love for you and me, that when we let Him lavish it on us, it just keeps coming. We open our hearts to be filled and it spills over and out and onto everyone around us. We don’t weary of giving it away because we don’t get depleted. This isn’t love that comes from us, so our pride and preferences aren’t attached. This is freely received and freely given, and its well is bottomless.
Let’s take a breath and stop the cycle of wrapping our desires in boxes decorated with our motives and expecting others to joyfully cherish them. Let’s not expect to be able to fulfill someone else that way either. Instead, let’s open our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to start pouring; and let’s position ourselves so that the overflow soaks everyone around us. There are 3 weeks until Valentine’s Day. How much perfect love can we soak in and splash out by then? Let’s do love un-complicated!