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The topic of love is a very complex one to discuss and define because there are many angles that give different meaning and definition to love. We will look to define biblical love and take it further to love being patient as recorded in the Bible.
1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that liveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that liveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.”
True love is difficult to define, but from a Christian standpoint, biblical love is best understood through scripture. In fact, one of the most sought-after themes in the Bible is the definition of love.
What is the definition of love in the Bible?
Biblical love is also called Agape love or Agapi in Hebrew and Greek. Biblical love has to do with the emotion of unconditional partiality. Agape is considered to be the love originating from God or Christ for humankind.
The biblical view of love is that it comes from God (i.e., God’s Love). Biblical love is all-consuming, empowering, and lives in each of us. Our heart is the symbol of the love that resides in us, and God is the symbol of the love that reflects down on Earth.
Within the scriptures, love is what binds people together against hate and dishonesty. Love is what keeps us from fighting with our enemies and sparring with those who disagree with us.
Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Biblical love talks about love that is not hinged on what we get from it or loving when we hope to get something out of it. Biblical love teaches us to love with all our hearts, looking out for others. And love those who will never think of loving us back.
The opening scriptures say we should love one another, for God is love. God loved us so much that it cost Him His only begotten son Jesus Christ who came and died for us, that we might love others and have eternal life. The love of God is the ultimate of biblical love, for it encompasses a whole lot of things.
Love is one gift of God that every Christian must have because upon it lies all the words of scriptures, upon it lies the path to eternity, without love for God and man, the journey for a Christian will NEVER be complete.
How Apostle Paul Defines love in I corinthians 13
No matter the gift of God upon your life and the good you do along the Christian journey, without love it can’t be accepted. God is love and He expects all His children to be love as He is.
1corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
We see from the above scriptures that Biblical love has defined by Apostle Paul is made up of many characteristics. One of these characteristics is love is patience and we are going to dwell on it from a biblical standpoint.
“Love is patient” meaning
Love is patient, love is kind, etc is a favorite verse of the Bible and a very popular quote people like to use a lot today when talking about Love. In this famous verse, Apostle Paul describes the characteristics of love to the believers in the church at Corinth.
Apostle Paul encouraged the people of Corinth especially the believer’s to love one another with patient and kindness knowing fully well that offenses will come and people will hurt others which might lead to hatred and resentment. Love is patient is part of the teaching of spiritual gifts.
The purest and highest of all God’s gifts of the spirit is the grace of divine love. All other gifts of the spirit that Christians may exercise lack value and meaning if they aren’t motivated by love.
The kind of patient love we are talking about bears with offenses and is slow to repay or punish those who offend. However, it does not imply indifference which would ignore an offense.
Love is patient means a love that is purposeful, persistent, and perspective-driven. Patient love is persistent love, that is it keeps loving despite all the flaws present.
Patient love also means choosing to love the other person, even when you don’t feel like it or it isn’t easy, you chose to love them anyway and won’t call it quit just because you are tired, frustrated, or offended.
This shows that all the other features of love in 1corinthians 13:4-8 rely on love being patient, for, without patient, one can’t fulfill the demands of love.
God’s Love for Mankind
God loved the world so much that he gave His son to die a shameful death, that we might be justified and approach unto Him. Yet, today we see a whole lot of people who offend God, do all manner of evil that makes God angry at them, yet He still loves with all patient, we offend Him, ask for forgiveness and still go back to the same sin again and yet His love has being patient with us and longing that we will come to permanently acknowledge our fault and love Him back.
In 2peter 3:9, it says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
This is the patient love of God. When we are patient in love, it gives those we love the ability to know their faults, make amends and love is back.
In the Bible, we saw the story of Jonah, how God instructed him to go and tell the people of Nineveh that He was going to destroy them for their wickedness.
Jonah didn’t disobey because he didn’t want to go but because he knew that the mercies of God know everyday and His patience unending and that God will eventually not destroy them despite warning them severally, At the end, God didn’t destroy Nineveh but was patient with them and gave them another chance.
God’s patience with David despite all his shortcomings was what made the giant out of him. David was a man loved by God and His mighty hand was upon him, but David made so many mistakes, even to the extent of taking Beersheba as a wife and putting Uriah her husband in the war front to die.
God was angry with him, but yet loved him with patience and helped him come out of his mistakes. Love being patient means, being there for others even when they have hurt us in several ways, helping them to grow and become better people in society and in the kingdom.
The Bible also teaches how love can be patient with the story of the prodigal son, he collected all his inheritance and left for a far country, squandered all, and was left to eat with pigs and possibly die.
But his father was patient with love for him knowing he will return. He could have written his will and excluded him or given instructions that nobody should allow him into the house, yet he was still full of love for him and welcomed him personally when he finally got back to his senses and returned.
Love is patient is opening our arms wide to receive those who have hurt us and cost us a whole lot without any feeling of hatred or resentment. Love is patient is giving a second chance to those who have wandered away from the path of life despite all our warnings.
We must show this patience in love for the Christian journey to be a must-fulfilling one. Love is patient and kind means when we do something for others even though they have hurt us in several ways and it seems to them that we can’t forgive and love again. it is patient when we rebuke those who have done evil with gentle, love, kindness, and patient knowing that God will eventually touch them and turn them around for good.
Biblical love encourages us to be patient in love with others, be it those around us, our families, colleagues, and strangers. We must love with patience, for the human mind is prone to mistakes and evil, we must be patient with love as the Holy Spirit continues to prune us and make us perfect in all ramifications.
The Spirit of God is the spirit of love and without Him, we can’t love or have patience with others. We must live in the Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to help us that we might love with patient and kindness.
Love is patient and on it hangs all other virtues and gifts of the holy spirit.