In our newest book, The Before You Marry Book of Questions, we walk dating couples through the myriad of questions about love that might lead them to the alter to say “I do!” But to grasp love, it is best to go back to love’s origins. Love uncovers lots of questions within us and we try to ask questions you might not even have thought about asking yet!
We often have some unique views on love from childhood, like this cute quote:
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”—Bobby, age 7
The View from the One Who Knows Love Best
Let’s begin by looking at love by the one who created love—God. How do we know God originated love?
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them" (1 John 4:16 emphasis added).
We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
When the Bible says, “God is love,” it means that love is the driving force of his character. Everything he does, everything he creates, everything he communicates stems from his love. Out of his desire for us to experience the fullness of life, he “cloned” love, making it available for all the humans he created out of his love. Since he is the creator of love, any time your love for one another aligns with God’s principles, it will run smoother, work better, feel richer, be kinder, and have a sweeter influence on others. We can bank on this love. 1 John 4:16 says we “know” and “rely on” the love God has for us. “Know” means we grasp it with our minds, and “rely on” means we embrace it in our hearts. God’s love is intellectually and emotionally faithful.
Love is Good!
A very interesting word is repeated throughout the creation account in Genesis:
When God created light, “God saw that the light was good” (Genesis 1:3-4).
When he created the land and sea, “God saw that it was good” (1:9-10).
When he created vegetation, “God saw that it was good” (1:11-12).
When he created the sun and moon, “God saw that it was good” (1:16-18).
When he created the animals, “God saw that it was good” (1:20-25).
After creating Adam and assigning him work, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (2:18a). Then he created Eve as a suitable helper (2:18b) and “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (1:31).
The word translated “good” is the Hebrew word tôb, which means “beautiful or functioning the way God intended.” “Good,” in this context, describes the ability of God’s creation to function in the way he intended it to operate. The modifier “very” applies words such as abundantly, exceedingly, immensely, or intensely to the functionality of what God created. So marriage, the uniting of a man and a woman in love, is abundantly, exceedingly, utterly, immensely beautiful!
One of the main questions, therefore, that helps evaluate whether a relationship has what it takes for a lifetime of love is, “Does our relationship function the way God intended to the point that it can be called good?” To keep things "tôb" or beautiful in a love relationship, it is wise to listen to God’s opinions on how relationship, love, marriage, sex, and intimacy work. Take a step toward this “tôb” or beautiful love and attend church this Christmas season and get some advice from the author of love, the God who loved mankind enough to send His own son as the message and messenger of love.
Bill and Pam Farrel are authors of over 35 books, including their newest The Before Your Marry Book of Questions and A Couple’s Journey with God. They are international speakers and co-directors of www.Love-Wise.com. To gain more helps for your holiday, see their free articles to enhance your family holiday: Connection Not Conflict at Christmas and their Christmas Advent Wreath Dinner and Dialogue Family Tradition.
Publication date: December 9, 2013