This article was written by Dr. Tim Clinton and is published by AACC
We all carry relational wounds. So we go through life with a skewed definition of love. Our actions are often a far cry from true love. The truth is, we may be trying to “love” the other in an attempt to satisfy our “need” for the other.
When we act out of enmeshment and codependency, we may think we are experiencing love, but it’s a shallow substitute for the love God longs for us to experience and enjoy. True love, on the other hand, moves us from a place of saying, “I want to do something for you because it meets my needs” to “I want to do something for you because I love you.”
1. True Love Seeks to Love as Jesus Loves
How does Jesus love? Genuinely. Unselfishly. Radically. In order to love with the genuine love of Jesus, we must learn to answer two critical questions. When does true love give in? When does true love push back?
2. True Love is Wise and Strong
True love is strong enough to speak the truth and do what is best for someone else, even if that person doesn’t like it. We come to understand the dynamics of motives and actions in relationships.
3. True Love Stands against Evil
A weak, misguided definition of love causes us to give in repeatedly to the detriment of everyone involved, but a stronger, more accurate view of love directs us to speak and act wisely to address evil, manipulative behavior.
4. True Love is Rooted in God’s Love
Rooted. Grounded. Established. Having power. Filled to overflowing. When we choose to live in true love, we bring our hearts and minds back to the fundamental, unchanging truth of God’s love for each one of us.
5. True Love Will Not Fail
Love never fails, because it is rooted and grounded in God’s unconditional love, not the need to fix or control someone else. True love has the strength and courage to never quit.
In the life-long process of discovering what true love is, God’s steadfast love holds us up. He will never leave us or forsake us along the way.