At the end of this article, you will understand the characteristics of love as revealed in the Bible.
The phrase “I love you” has become a language that everyone uses in this situation. Couples and friends profess love for one another using this phrase.
However, it is pathetic to discover that many who use this language understand little or nothing about love.
Love is a deep mystery that goes beyond the statement “I love you.” It is not just a confession; it is an action.
One of my brothers in the faith once defined love in a unique way that I love. He said, “Love is a verb; it is an action or a doing word.”
This definition is true and scriptural as seen in 1 John 3:18
This means that you should not just tell people that you love them. You must demonstrate it. Especially when choosing a life partner.
You must act it out just as God demonstrated his love for us in Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:4–13 exposes the characteristics of true love. It teaches how true love can be expressed.
If you love someone, you must display these attributes towards them.
In the Macmillan English Dictionary, defines love as the strong emotional feelings or affection you have for someone. However, this definition is shallow.
This is because love goes beyond feelings or emotions. In fact, biblical love transcends mere affection.
In order for you to understand what love is, you need to view it from the perspective of the personality of love himself.
Do you know who that personality is? It is God. Yes. God is the real personality of love, because that is what the Bible calls Him.
1 John 4:8 says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.”
This means that God is the true expression of love. His nature, character, and person are love.
Therefore, if you want to define love, you can say, “Love is God’s nature.”
That is, God is the appearance of love, and it is only through Him that you can express love. Hence, anyone who wants to love genuinely must know God.
Also, John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”
This means that love is sacrifice. The God kind of love, which is called “agape,” is a sacrificial one.
In addition, John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
His death on the cross was a demonstration of love. He acted out his love for you and me through his atoning love.
9 CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE
1. LONG SUFFERING
Long suffering is the attribute or quality of being patient in spite of having problems or being badly treated over a long period of time.
It is an act of waiting patiently in the midst of pains, hurts, and offenses. It is a compound word coined from two words: long and suffering.
If you love someone genuinely,you won’t find it hard to suffer long with that person.
Although he or she might hurt you consistently, you will keep forbearing in the hope that there will be changes in the future.
You will keep being patient, believing that there will be a transformation soon.
One of the ways God demonstrated His love for us is seen in how He suffers long with us.
His love makes him want to bear with us. It makes him wait patiently until we return to him in genuine repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 explains that long suffering is not slackness. It is the willingness of patients in order for change to occur.
Hence, I charge you to cultivate this attribute. It will help you love genuinely.
This is an act of showing that you care about people and want to help them. True or genuine love is kind.
It is not callous and wicked. It cares for others and also helps others.
You can’t profess to love someone and find it difficult to help him or her. This is impossible.
Kindness is the nature of true love. True love doesn’t struggle to share kindness. It expresses this quality willingly and easily.
God loves us, and that’s why he is kind to us. His love for us makes him care about our needs and welfare. This love also makes Him want to help us.
When you love someone genuinely, you care about what’s going on in that person’s life. You care about his or her welfare.
Humility is a way of behaving that shows that you do not think you are better or more important than other people.
It is one of the characteristics of love that makes you respect and value others. You won’t see him or her as low for you to relate to.
What makes the almighty God relate to us is His humility. He didn’t allow his mightiness to hinder him from relating with us in our low state.
Love is humble, and it doesn’t puff itself up – Philippians 2:3
God does not want us to rate ourselves above others. Instead, He wants us to esteem them even better than ourselves.
Therefore, you must always respect, appreciate, and celebrate anyone you love.
This is an act of caring about other people’s needs and problems more than yours. It is the opposite of being selfish—the act of thinking only about yourself.
Love does not seek its own interests only. It seeks the interest of others.
It thinks about others needs and problems and always finds a way to be a solution to them.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Selfishness, or self-centeredness, is a proof of the absence of love.
However, in the presence of love, these two disappear. Therefore, you must always seek the good interests of those you love.
This is another characteristic of true love. In fact, I can say it is the greatest attribute.
It is the act of giving up something important and valuable for others.
We can see this attribute of love in how God gave us Jesus, His only begotten son.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten…”
This is what sacrifice is. It is greater than giving.
When you give, you do it out of what you have, but when you sacrifice, you give the last or only thing you have.
If you say you love someone, you must be able to sacrifice for him or her. Nothing must be too big or hard for you to give up on that person.
This is because genuine love is sacrificial. It sacrifices its time, money, comfort, convenience, etc. for others good, welfare, and comfortability.
Therefore, you must learn to sacrifice always.
Perseverance means not giving up easily. It is the tenacity or persistency to keep doing something difficult until the end.
It also means to continue doing something in spite of difficulties or setbacks.
This attribute is the mother of endurance and long-lasting suffering.
It is the ability to continue dealing with an unpleasant situation for a long time. It is one of the great characteristics of love.
When Jesus Christ was on the cross, He endured pain and agony because He loved us.
As couples, if things are not palatable with your spouse, you must endure.
I have seen many people who profess love for themselves.
However, they find it difficult to put on the beautiful grammy of endurance in the midst of hardships.
What is love without endurance? It is nothing.
Therefore, you must learn to always endure hard times with the one you love.
You build persistent stamina to keep going with them even in the midst of setbacks.
True love doesn’t give up easily. Instead, it gives consistent effort until you secure your victory.
This is the ability to indulge in any belief, opinion, or behavior that is in contrast to yours.
It is when you are able to tolerate something you dislike or disagree with. It is another great characteristic of love.
Since God made us differently, you and the person you love cannot be the same.
If you love someone genuinely, you will try to always understand them. This understanding will teach you and help you relate to him or her.
Your beliefs and personalities may be different which leads to misunderstandings.
However, you can always overcome if you bear the fruit of tolerance.
Tolerance helps you to keep living in peace with people, in spite of differences in character and personality traits.
If you want your love relationships to last, it is a must for you to cultivate this attribute.
Otherwise, you would always pick offense with people. This will eventually lead to conflict.
It is the complete trust or confidence you have in someone; it is the ability to rely on and depend on the one you love.
Love is faithful. This faithfulness is well expressed through trust and confidence.
When you love someone, you don’t find it difficult to trust and have confidence in them. If you cannot do this, then you should check the kind of love you have.
Genuine love thrives on trust and confidence. Therefore, you must learn to trust and believe in those you love.
Aside the usefulness of faith in love, it can help you overcome spiritual strongholds.
Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. It is also a feeling of trust that goes hand in hand with faith.
When you trust and believe in the one you love, it becomes easy for you to have hope in him or her.
Although he or she might not be up to your expectations now, you keep hoping that this expectation will be met one day.
God gave Christ as a gift of love because he has hope in us.
He believed that even though we have fallen in the Garden of Eden, we can be restored through Christ Jesus. This is what love is.
Genuine love is hopeful. I therefore advise you to always have hope in anyone you love.
CONCLUSION ON CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE
To conclude everything I have discussed in this article, I want you to know that biblical love goes beyond feelings, emotions, and affections.
It is simply an act of caring for other people’s welfare. It seeks the interest of others.
Also, true love is well expressed through all the characteristics I have elucidated above.
I therefore urge you to cultivate these qualities so you can love people genuinely.
Thank you for reading this article. God bless you greatly.