Many people define love as an emotion and stop there. The apostle Paul defined love as a commitment to act in a certain way toward others. We may not be able to conjure up the emotions and feelings of love, but we can certainly practice the behavior the apostle Paul described in Scripture. Paul knew that when we behave in loving ways, feelings of love soon follow.
Part of considering the interest of others is to do them tangible good. But to really love them, you usually need to help them see themselves as God does. Christians should follow Jesus’ model of love. Jesus’ model calls believers to “love your enemies and expect nothing in return” (Luke 6:35).
True love is self-giving, not self-seeking. Following Jesus’ model, we lay down our lives for each other. If we love, then we will act in selfless ways. If we do not feel like loving or do not feel loved, 1 Corinthians 13 is a wonderful reminder of how God loves us and how we can show love to others.
God commands us to love. Love is a responsibility. We cannot truly love as God commands apart from a relationship with God, who is love. If we do not have love, nothing else matters (1 Corinthians 13:1-4). Love is a fruit of the Spirit, produced in our lives as we yield ourselves to God.
God is love. 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 accept the responsibility to love and stop waiting for others to love us. When we choose to act in loving ways, the emotions 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.