We’ve all been told lies about love.
Whether it’s from parents, past boyfriends or movies (hello, Fifty Shades…), we’ve all got some emotional baggage when it comes to the L-word.
You might have had people try and use the word ‘love’ to manipulate you. They might have called damaging or abusive behavior ‘loving’ or tried to control you with the threat of losing love. You might have been swept up in a tide of emotions toward a person upon first meeting them, which you were sure this time was love, only to be disappointed again.
Whatever expectations you may have of love, whatever hopes and dreams or disappointments and failures the word brings to mind, I want you to know these things:
Love looks like sacrifice.
Love looks like forgiveness.
Love looks like courage in the face of failure or rejection.
Love looks like compassion for your brokenness.
Love looks like truth-telling when everyone else is avoiding the truth.
Love looks like encouragement given just at the moment you feel like giving up.
Love looks like action when no one else is stepping up.
Ultimately, love looks like Jesus Christ.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in false promises and seduced by expectations of love. But as we begin to know and receive the love of Jesus, we can have our perception of love slowly changed. And that perception will start to change our expectations.
No longer will we fall into the trap of false love, which only seeks to please itself and leaves us feeling broken and lost.
No longer will we mistake a Hollywood romance for true love, and accept that love is ‘just a feeling’ to be swept along with, and then abandoned when it’s done.
No, we will accept and know true love when we see it. That’s our prayer for 2015. That’s our prayer for you, wherever you are and whatever your experience of love has been. May you know true love this February, this year.