The World's Definition of Love is Not God's


By Laura Pennace -

What does love really mean?

The dictionary definition of love is "an intense feeling of deep affection." Another dictionary definition is "a feeling of deep romantic or sexual attachment." But, is that what love really is? No, love comes from God, and a sexual feeling is not His definition of love.

It is hard to say what love really is. Ephesians 3:19 says that love surpasses all understanding. Many people try to define love, but no one knows the exact words to use. Love is complicated. It is stressful, but beautiful. It is unconditional and unexpected. Certain aspects of love can leave someone longing to be wanted or accepted by the people around them.

I went through a stage in my life where I was obsessed with finding a guy to love me. I was in a state of desperation because I thought by putting my confidence in men, I could let go of my insecurities. It was hard for me to find a guy to like me. I had many guy friends, but none that wanted a relationship with me. I started to become more insecure about my body. I told myself that guys only want a girl with a perfect body, and amazingly good looks; that they do not care if someone possesses a great personality if they are not "beautiful." Or at least that is what I led myself to believe. These thoughts of how I perceived guys soon led me to stop believing in love.

After I graduated and guys started to take notice of me, I was not as close to God as I wanted to be. Being lost, and unaware of what love is, I turned to guys for satisfaction because I felt an emptiness in my life. That emptiness was because I had turned away from God. I relied on the world’s version of love, not His. I was in a place in my life where I only wanted a man to love me. I pushed God away and tried to find a guy on my own.

Not long after, I developed the idea that sex was love. Almost every movie has some sort of sex scene, or close enough to a sexual scene, in it. I thought that if sex was the way to a man’s heart, I could get a man to love me. Thankfully, Jesus stepped in before I went too far. He showed me that I was looking for the wrong type of man to love me.

He showed me that if I wanted to be loved, I needed Him.

I was tired of being hurt by guys. I was tired of the way I was living. No matter what, the void I had in my life would not go away. So, I turned to Jesus and it was not until I started praying that I began to fall more in love with God. I started to understand what the true meaning of love is. God is love. Though the world detests that, it is the truth.

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. -1 John 4:8

This verse spoke to my heart because I had quit loving. I remember reading that verse when I was in a dark place, realizing I did not know God fully. Yes, I went to church almost every Sunday, but knowing God and knowing of Him are two different things. It was when I started to develop a closer relationship with God that I understood the difference.

When I began to fall more in love with God, I began to find peace in my heart. I prayed every night that God would continue to give me more of an understanding of His love and mercy, and each night He answered my prayers.

I want to encourage others that are facing that same empty, unloved feeling that I faced, to look up, because God loves you and I so much that He sent His only son to die for us (John 3:16).

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

Jesus died for us. He suffered just so our sins would be forgiven. He gave up His life so we could live forever in heaven. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” By developing a relationship with Jesus, those feelings of being unloved disappear. The depression that is accompanied by feelings of worthless, ugliness, and fatness also melt away in His presence.

My relationship with Christ gave me more confidence and a better understanding of just how much love is in His heart. Finally, I have learned that He will send me a man in His own time, because God’s timing is perfect.

What does love mean to you? Have you ever misplaced your understanding of love and worth? Let's chat in the comments below!

// image by lauren pennace via bridal guide