By Michael Risley
When I was a senior in college, my first date with my wife-to-be Joanie was at a Valentine’s Day banquet at my church. It was the beginning of our love story!
I knew when I initially asked her for the date that she was beautiful, but what I didn’t know was the foundation of her life – and her love for me and others – was based upon her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.
Did you know that God created you and me to experience love in two primary ways? First, God’s love is the basis for all true love, the most pure and powerful love that exists. Romans 5:8, one of many Scripture passages that speak of His love, says,
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
You see, God’s love is sacrificial, even to the point of death, and seeks the best for others. The Bible teaches that for us to experience God’s love, we need to put our faith in His Son Jesus Christ (for more on this, watch the video “Do You Know Jesus Personally?”)
Secondly, our human love for one another is a wonderful gift from God that all people can experience to a certain degree. But it’s only those who know God’s love through Jesus who can experience it even more fully.
This love is defined best in I Corinthians 13: 4-7 which says,
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
What I learned about my wife Joanie as we grew closer after that first Valentine’s Day banquet was that she was able to experience and share the fulness of love based on her wholehearted relationship with God through His son Jesus.
And I pray that we may all experience the fullness of love by experiencing the fullness of God.