“What is love?”
How would you answer that?
Love is a feeling.
Love is an emotion.
Love is getting a dozen roses.
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 Love||Biblical 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)|
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.