Romans 5:8 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Bible verses such as the one above remind us that God loves us.  But in order to fully comprehend what this verse means, we have to understand what love is.  With so many different concepts of love, the verse above could take on so many meanings.

There are many concepts of love.  People will often say, “I love my children” and then also say “I love pizza.”  There is the Disney princess concept of love that accompanies a feeling of abandon and ecstasy.   There is the love that pop-culture songs sing portray. With all of these concepts of love, it is difficult to truly comprehend the love that Romans 5:8 is talking about.  

As long as you associate the concept of “love” with a feeling, Bible verses about love will often fall flat.  M Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, offers a definition that describes love in it’s truest form.  He says that true love can only be expressed in the absence of the feeling of love.  

Remember when you first met your spouse?  Remember that uncontrollable urge to be with them?  It was fun, but it wasn’t love. That was a hormone – a compulsion.  Often times, when that feeling fades over time, people think that have “fallen out of love.”  But that could not be any farther from the truth. Once that compulsion feeling fades, that is when the work of real loving begins.  You see, when your hormones and enzymes are no longer compelling you toward your loved one, you are simply left with the choice to love.  

Real love makes you deny self and make yourself vulnerable.  Real love sets you up to experience pain. Real love dispels fear and draws us out of the safety of our self-centeredness into other-centeredness.

It wasn’t a hormone or an enzyme that allowed Jesus to go through with the cross.  It wasn’t a Disney princess version of love. It wasn’t a feeling. It was a choice.  Now, with that version of love, re-read Romans 5:8. Has it taken on a new meaning?

If you wonder why you don’t feel butterflies in your stomach when you are around your spouse or when you worship God, don’t interpret that to mean that you have “fallen out of love.”  That is when the work of true love will finally begin.

What choices can you make this week to show your loved ones and God that you love them?