“What is love?”

How would you answer that?

Love is a feeling.

Love is an emotion.

Love is getting a dozen roses.

Love is….

We complete that sentence with all sorts of ideas and concepts. What it boils down to, however, is two philosophies: biblical love and unbiblical love.

I have been reading through The Christian Counselor’s Manual: The Practice of Nouthetic Counseling by Jay Adams. Though I do not agree with everything in Adams’ book, I found his treatment on love helpful. Regardless of whether you engage in biblical counseling, we need to have a biblical concept of love. This will benefit our lives as well as others. It will also dispel the clouds of confusion that so easily fog our thinking.

Unbiblical LoveBiblical Love
“The philosophy is that love happens. ” (150)“Love is giving–giving of oneself to another.” (151)
“Love is not something to work at; it just happens.” (150)“It is not getting, as the world says today.” (151)
“Love comes full blown from the head of Aphrodite.” (150)“It is not feeling and desire; it is not something over which one has no control.” (151)
“It’s the kind of thing that just is or isn’t.” (150)“It is something that one does for another.” (151)
“It isn’t something you develop, it isn’t something that grows, it isn’t something that you work hard to achieve, it isn’t a thinking thing, and it certainly isn’t something that you can will.” (150)“Non one loves in the abstract.” (151)
“It is something that happens. And when it happens, it happens in such a way that you know that it has happened!” (150)“Love is an attitude that issues forth in something that actually, tangibly happens.” (151)
Adams’ discussion of love

Obviously, this is not exhaustive (or, theologically rigorous). However, it does provide us with a great table to navigate in our discussions with people about love and the Scriptures.

What is love? Adams provides us with an excellent answer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s