So, I just gotta admit that this title makes me think of that song…”What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more.” Are you singing it now?
Joking aside, I think it’s important that we look to the Word to understand what love really is. Here are 14 verses (in honor of Valentine’s Day) that are all about love.
1. John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This has always been an important go-to verse about love. The main message: love means sacrifice. Obviously, this message goes much deeper and gives us hope of reconciliation with God, but it’s also that key message of love requires sacrifice. Loving your spouse well will require a level of sacrifice.
2. Romans 5:8
But God shows His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We just noted the sacrifice that is necessary for love, but the second part of this message is that someone else doesn’t have to be “worthy or loveable” for that sacrifice to happen. One of the most beautiful things about true love is that you can be a bit of a mess and still be loved. Share love with your spouse even when they’re making it a bit difficult.
3. 1 John 4:7-8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is a tough one to read for sure. Our behaviors toward our spouse should always be loving if we’re Christians. We actually can’t claim to really know God if we’re not able to show love.
4. Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.
Love is actually listed as one of the fruit of the spirit. This means love is one way to show your spiritual maturity and that you are bearing spiritual fruit.
5. Colossians 3:12-14
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
So here you have it. We’re called, as God’s chosen ones, to be full of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience and to practice forgiveness. Love binds all of this together and allows us to live in harmony with one another.
6. Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
The theme of love is not just found in the New Testament-it is found in the Old Testament too! In Proverbs, Solomon gives advice about how our actions can impact ourselves and others. If we have hatred in our hearts toward others, it creates tension in our interactions with them. However, if we rest in the assurance of our love for others, we will not be troubled by others’ actions, even if they are against us.
7. Proverbs 3:3-4
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Solomon also advises us to have love in our approach to life. Love and faithfulness should be a part of our lives, both outwardly in our actions (around [our] neck[s]) and inwardly (on the tablet of [our] heart[s]). Doing so will make a lasting impression on others and is something that God values within us.
8. Romans 13:9-10
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
When we practice love, we can also work toward outdoing one another in showing honor to each other. Imagine how pleasant life could be if you and your spouse were always trying to outdo one another in honoring the other.
9. Matthew 5:44-45
But I say to you, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
We’re actually not just called to ONLY love those who love us back or treat us well. We are to love all others. This means that we live out the Gospel message by our actions. What better place than your own marriage to practice loving someone that you might not always get along with.
10. Galatians 5:14
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
As Christians, we should make it our aim to practice loving one another. Remember, Jesus explained that our neighbor is anyone who needs our help. This certainly extends beyond just your spouse. Practice love – always – with everyone you encounter.
11. John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Jesus gave a high and great command to his followers. And, this doesn’t just apply to His original 12 disciples. It applies to all of us who follow him. Christians simply have to show love to others. It’s our proof that we know Him.
12. Matthew 22:37-39
And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Of these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
Our two greatest commands in Scripture are not rules based on what we shouldn’t do. Instead, these two great commands are to love God and love one another. Like I said earlier, love is a big theme in the Bible.
13. John 17:26
I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
John 17 may be one of my favorite chapters in the Bible because we get to read this lengthy prayer from Jesus. And, in that prayer, He’s praying for us. What an incredible privilege. His ending remarks in that prayer are that we’ll have the same love in us that Christ had in him. Man, I love that so much!
14. Psalm 136:1 (and following)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.
This chapter literally says, “His steadfast love endures forever” with every single verse! It’s a beautiful reminder that God’s love never fails. It’s enduring forever and always!
Love is a big theme in the Bible, so this wasn’t an exhaustive list. There are far more examples of Scripture showing us what God says about love than what I listed here. This season, take some time to look into Scriptures about love. The better we understand love, the more likely we are to notice when we fall a little short and to make a correction to our behaviors so that we consistently behave in more loving ways.
May you walk in love today!
Blessings on you, your marriage and your intimacy.