Say love and chances are your immediate mental picture is soft, squishy, and colored in pastels. If you’re over 40 you may think of “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” or the “summer of love” in 1967. If you’re under 40 you may think of tolerance and kindness and warm-hearted feelings.
But those images have little or nothing to do with what love is all about. True love is anything but wimpy, or particularly feminine. That impression is a caricature of what real love is all about.
What pictures come to mind when you think of love?
- A mother nurturing her newborn baby?
- A suitor on one knee proposing to his sweetheart?
- Jesus holding out welcoming arms to a sinner?
Yes, love underlies all those images. But if those are the only images of love we focus on, our lives, and our Christian witness, will be lopsided and ineffective.
Is it love to stand by as your child destroys themselves and the family through violence, theft, and fear as a result of drug addiction? Is it love to keep giving your spouse the benefits of marriage while they are engaging in infidelity? Is it love to accept a hurting, sick, miserable sinner as they are without providing a way for healing and transformation?
Love is not saying “anything goes,” “you’re OK, I’m OK,” or “do whatever you want.” That’s cowardice, not love! God’s not like that. And you and I shouldn’t be like that either.
As Bob Goff’s popular book asserts and illustrates, Love Does. Love may start with accepting things the way they are, but it refuses to let them stay that way. Tweet that. Love does something about it.