This week the world celebrates romance and what media defines as love – passion, tenderness and deeply felt emotions.
Romantic love is a gift. Joyful and exhilarating, it woos us and thrills us. Anyone who has been captivated by it never forgets the heady feeling. Anyone who has been burned by it realizes that there must be something more.
So what is true love, really?
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:10-11
True love is both passionate and gritty. The passion comes easily, but the grit is what is needed for love’s maturity.
Gritty love perseveres.
Gritty love forgives.
Gritty love keeps vows.
Gritty love draws boundaries.
Gritty love does not allow itself to be used, abused or disrespected.
Gritty love does not take revenge.
Gritty love does not demand reciprocity.
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7
Gritty love is a refining love – it sands down our selfishness.
Gritty love is a clarifying love – it purifies our motives.
Gritty love is an empowering love – it doesn’t depend upon anything outside of the pure, freely given love of God.
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love as been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5
The reward for loving this way isn’t always being loved in return – it is in becoming more like the One who is the definition of love, the One who loves us with both grit and passion. The One whose love has called us out of the darkness and filled us with His Spirit so that we can love, like Him, not just the ones who return our love, but also the ones who least deserve it.