Love is a simple word yet complicated. Lots of youths ask questions like- is love affairs biblical? Is love affairs are sinful? What is the meaning of real love?
The reason by which we can’t understand the real love is because we have got different kinds of love. like- love towards elders is ‘respect’, that towards a younger is ‘affection’, love towards peer group is ‘friendship’, love which is on products is ‘like’ and if it happens between a husband and wife it’s called as ‘romance’. According to Robert Sternberg triangular theory, love is a combination of intimacy, passion and commitment. In the relation between you and your parents there will not be passion, may or may not have intimacy but there will be definitely commitment. For a best friend you can only feel intimacy and commitment. If it’s only a combination of passion and intimacy its romance, and love only with passion is an infatuation. Most often, love is confused with infatuation – that elated, “high” feeling we get when we “fall in love.” This kind of “love” is something that lasts typically for a short time and, unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships.
I should say that bible is almost against in such love affairs and selecting partner by them self. When Adam was alone he did not chose his partner with his own will (Genesis 2:18). God gave a perfect one for him .It was funny that on selection process of Eve, Adam was just sleeping!
In all these above mentioned kinds of love you can see selfishness. The unselfish love that is express in Sanskrit as ‘Prema’, that word is misunderstood by a lot of people today. The Bible gives the name for such a love as Agape. Agape love is represented by God in His love towards us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love which is demonstrated as a gift in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Can you look unto Christ? You can see this combination of these three components of love. When He called all us as brethren He has shown His intimacy, died for us and showed His passion and promised to come back, showing His commitment.
This kind of love is unconditional. The “Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians (13th Chapter) deals more explicitly with this. Agape is a connection through the spirit. A true manifestation of this requires a relationship with Christ. For without Him, agape love can’t be exhibited in its truest form. We, as humans, can’t reach this level alone. We need our Heavenly Father’s Spirit dwelling in us, working through us. “The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The other kind of love, Phileo, is the “brotherly love.” It is usually based upon how others treat us and our feelings in any given situation. It involves direct interaction and sometimes comes with a price tag of expectation, wanting something back in return. It’s a demonstrative form of love offered through the soul. But, it’s also a command from God. “Let us love one another, because love comes from God” (1 John 4:7). The real love welcomes expectations and corrections from brethren. If a person does not accept corrections his passion towards love is not satisfied yet.
Although there are no references to the word romance in the Bible, there are 281 mentions of love. So it’s called as “The Love Letter” in English. ‘The’ is a word which signifies uniqueness. Bible is the one and only God’s “love letter” to us, telling us not only that He loves us, but also showing us what He has done to demonstrate His love. It also tells us how we should live, because God knows what is best for us and He wants us to experience it. Never forget: The Bible is God’s Word, given to us so that we can know and follow Him. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). So read the bible like a love letter and fill your heart with His love. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem starts like this “Give all to love; obey thy heart; Friends kindred days, Estate, good fame, Plans credit and the Music, Nothing refuse”. Nothing can fill our heart except His love, so surrender before His love, and read ‘The Love Letter’. Amen!