True love is not something we "fall into" or "fall out of." The kind of love God tells us to show for others is not an event we simply wait for, nor is it an experience that happens to us. Love is what God commands us to do. Love is a responsibility. And we can not truly love as God commands apart from a relationship with God, who is love.
Characteristics of true love: If we do not have love, nothing else matters (see 1 Corinthians 13:1-4). Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, produced in our lives as we yield ourselves to God. The Bible defines it this way: " Love is patient an dkind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance " ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
This passage is a description of how God loves us. As we begin to absorb His love, we will find ourselves reaching out to love others in the same way. No one loves perfectly, but we must not give up on loving. We can not expect to be good at loving right away; we can be patient as God's love grows within us. We can accept the responsibility to love others and stop waiting for them to love us.
When we choose to act in loving ways, the emotion will follow. We will find that love grows in our lives as we accept our responsibility to love and ask God to let His love flow through us.
Letter # 08 (21. 2. 2010)