Discover the true meaning of Love and its origin
September 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered when the first person experienced love, or how love came into existence? Maybe the early monkeys (or is it apes?) that we supposedly evolved from began to love one another. Or love surfaced after the apes evolved into the caveman. Maybe a caveman was dragging his mate by her hair (picture cartoon please), and a rock dropped on his head so it dawned on him that he loved his mate, so he turned to her and said, “You woman, me love you!” Okay, enough humor, but at some point in time love had to have a beginning.
Before we begin discussing the origin of love, let’s define the word, or should I say, define the words. We hear phrases on a daily basis like: I love my car, I love my house, I love going shopping, or I love watching football. Maybe the word love in these circumstances is only meant to be taken figuratively because it is not possible for humans to love objects or activities, at least not in the context that we will be discussing. If there is some doubt regarding our ability to love an activity, let’s consider the following sentence: I love my child and I love going shopping. Does the act of shopping and a child have the same level of affection? Of course not. The love we have for a child far exceeds the value of a shopping experience. But, unfortunately, the word love is used interchangeably between the type of love a person has for an activity, and the type of love a person has for another person. We have intermingled the two types of usages of this word so frequently in our everyday language, that we have lost the true meaning of love. So let’s define love (lowercase) more appropriately to mean “really like”, and define the word Love (uppercase) as a bond between two people, a bond which joins the soul of each person together, that if separated, causes deep emotional pain and a sense of internal void. This person might be your child, your spouse, a parent, a sibling, or a friend. Take a moment to think of this person in some sort of context, such as their sense of humor, their hobbies, the way they walk, or their smile. This is the type of Love that we’re going to discover.
Love is so important to us that when we don’t have it, we experience loneliness. Loneliness causes deep emotional pain, and we’ve all experienced loneliness. It’s not a fun experience. When we suffer loneliness, we usually try to subdue the pain by turning our attention more so to worldly objects or activities. We may purchase an expensive car, hurriedly rush into a relationship, participate in promiscuous sex, or try to impress our friends by doing something we normally would not do, all in an effort to attract attention to ourselves with the ultimate goal of feeling Loved. And when we learn that attention from other people is not a substitute for Love, we fall into a sense of regret, neglect, disappointment, or worse, depression.
For humans, Love is an important part of our daily interactions. We may do without Love for a bit of time, and this is okay, but I suspect none of us desires to be without Love on a permanent basis. We inherently have a deep desire for Love, not because of basic survival instincts, but instead, because we need to know we are valued based on the uniqueness of who we are. In other words, we don’t want to be just a number in this world, we want to know the essence of who we are matters to somebody else! And it is only through Love that a person feels their existence becomes more meaningful.
But yet, regardless of how important Love is to us, it is mostly misunderstood. We tend to abstract the essence of Love by thinking Love is a human emotion. Not really. Anger is an emotion. Despair is an emotion. Hopelessness is an emotion. Happiness is an emotion. These are internal emotions based on our interaction with our environment and each other. However, unlike emotions, Love is an inherent internal core desire in all of us. An evolutionist may suggest we evolved from a pond, and if this were true, then why would we evolve to require something so greatly as Love that isn’t readily accessible? When we are physically hungry, we have access to food to sustain our body. Since we are wired to need Love, why isn’t it to be found growing like fruit on a tree that we can pick and eat? In Galatians 5:22 it is written: “But the fruit of the spirit is love…” Love is a fruit, but this fruit does not grow on a tree. Galatians is conveying a new idea; the idea that Love has a distinct and independent existence. Just as food nourishes our body, Love is fruit for our spirit.
Love is like the air we breath, we cannot see it, but we interact with it on a daily basis. Think of our sun. Our sun radiates heat that travels 92 million miles to reach us. We cannot see the heat traveling to us, but when it arrives, we feel the warmth and know it is real. In the same way our sun radiates heat, our God radiates Love outward towards us, and when we feel Loved we know deep in our hearts it is real and precious. In John 1:4:19 it is written, “We love Him because He Loved us first.” Out of His Love, we were created. As a motor needs electricity to function, we need God’s Love to remain fully alive. Just like the electricity for a motor is delivered through a wire, we need a source of Love; we must receive it from God to live. Love is the gift of life. Without Love flowing from God to us, we would enter into darkness and death just as if our sun were to go dim. As our sun supports physical life here on Earth, God’s Love supports our spiritual life; we call this our “soul.” Our soul hungers to be alive, our soul thirsts for the Love of God.
When we were created by God, He wired our soul to require Him (Love) to live a true and purposeful life, and without Him, we are destined to perish. This is why humans have an inherent call to be one with God. In Genesis 1:27 it is written, “So God created man in His own image;” When God created us in His image, He was not referring to physical characteristics, but instead, He was referring to our ability to be like Him. We were granted special privilege over God’s other creatures so that we may experience His Love! None of God’s other creatures have the ability to experience Love as we are able. Love is the food for our soul, and God serves Himself up in abundance. It is because of Love we are who we are, it is because of Love that we are where we are, and it is because of Love that we are promised a purposeful role in God’s timeless plan.
Further, God calls each of us to share this life-sustaining gift to one another. We receive Love and we are to offer it up to others. Mission trips are an instance of when a group of people unselfishly offer up Love towards those in need; they share Love through their presence and their actions. And when we listen to those who have returned from a mission trip, they will express the sense they received more than they gave; and what they received was peace, true peace, as their soul experienced the interaction between humans beings sharing the Love of God with each other. Talk to a mother who is holding her infant child in her arms. The mother and child begin to elevate God’s Love for each other; the exchange of God’s Love happens just by being next to each other. A mother expresses Love for the child with a look into the child’s eyes, and with a simple smile in return, the baby acknowledges the Love it has received. And isn’t it interesting that when we Love others, even strangers in need, it provides us an internal sense of peace, as though we have successfully fulfilled an unspoken mission embedded in our hearts. When we allow God’s Love to flow through us and we offer it up towards others, we elevate our spiritual soul beyond the physical world we live in. We are truly created in God’s image; the ability to radiate His Love to one another. This sense of complete peace is a very small sampling of what lies ahead for each of us in the Kingdom of God. In His place, His Love flows unhindered and peace reigns.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
–1 John 4:7-8
And because God’s Love represents life, God provides Love to everyone so that all may live; even those who do not believe. For if He did not provide His Love to those who do not acknowledge the one who sent it, they would surely die. We are all sinners; we all deserve to be cut off from this life-sustaining gift of Love. Through our sin we reject the one who sends life; but through God’s grace and mercy, He does not cut us off. Through the manifestation of God’s Love, Christ was sent to us. Christ is God’s Love manifested into human form (“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” –1 John 4:9). And when we accept Christ, we therefore acknowledge that Love comes from God. We are to be perfected, through Christ, to know what it truly means to share Love to one another; and by doing so, we take our place in the circle of life as God meant for us (“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” –1 John 4:16).
Whether you are a believer or non-believer, yes, right now at this very moment God exists inside of you. God loves you, for if you have Loved, or have been Loved, then you know of God. Our ability to receive Love, express Love, and understand it originates from God. All God asks in return is for all of us to acknowledge Him; we do this through the manifestation of God’s Love we call, Christ. By accepting Christ, we acknowledge God, we acknowledge the one who sustains all life.
We humans have an inherent selfishness about us, this is the effect of Satan upon our lives. And because we falsely believe that Love is our own human emotion, we unwittingly treat Love as a finite resource to be hoarded. I call you to toss this concept to the side, and instead, see Love as an endless river of life that is flowing through all of us; a family of God. As we accept and understand this concept, our perspective on our life will change. The change in our life will be real because we will know we have the power of God’s abundance of Love, and our willingness to share it with others will go well beyond our past abilities and limitations.
In this place of sin, know that God loves you and hold onto His promise that one day we all will be in a place where sin is not permitted. It is in the Kingdom of God where Love is unencumbered, Love blossoms beyond our imagination, and Love is shared from you to everyone around you without hindrance; we all will be one with God.