It's often misconstrued in our culture as a momentary feeling towards another person or a romantic feeling based on fading physical appearance.
I believe that people today often equate love strictly with a romantic love, which will inevitably lead to disappointment and confusion.
You see, love is a lot more complicated than a momentary romantic emotion, even our experience tells us that it must be more in order to hold any weight at all.
Yet, many believe nowadays that love is only sustainable when the feeling is present. This is especially communicated in regards to romantic love. We hear, "I just don't love him anymore" or "We just fell out of love then it was over."
The phrases "Falling in love" and "Falling out of love" are the direct result of this faulty understanding of love.
Let me be clear, I'm not denying that feelings play a big role in a romantic relationship, have you read the Song of Solomon?
Nevertheless, our approach to romantic love and love in general needs to be revamped.
Falling In Love?
First, this idea that someone can fall in and out of love is completely false. You see, a biblical romantic love has to be based on a general enduring love. A romantic love that fades as interest dwindles, is no love at all. It's simply hormones mixed with excitement and intrigue.
There's no enduring love in that, just a momentary fading emotion.
REAL love does not dwindle when feelings aren't as strong, true love remains as romantic feelings "ebb and flow."
God has designed romantic love to be an aspect of our lifelong relationship, but it certainly should not be the only kind of love that we have for our spouse.
However, in our culture, we are told to follow our feelings above everything else. So, one minute we can feel "in love" and the next, not so much.
This mindset has led to an epidemic of divorces, with the result being broken families and wounded children, who are left with no example of what enduring love looks like.
So.. What are we to do to acquire this enduring love?
Only God Can Grant Us Enduring Love
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I don't what to disappoint you, but I've got to break it to you. No human except one has and can possess perfect enduring love.
What are we to do then?
Look to the perfect example of Christ's enduring love for us and image Him by and through the power of His Word and Spirit.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9 – 11
Ok, ok, it's easy to say, hard to do. The world's definition of love is easy, here one minute, gone the next, no commitment, no responsibility.
However, God calls us to a richer but tougher love, not just in the context of a romantic relationship, but in all of our relationships.
That might scare you, but I would encourage you to let it excite you!
God has given you a greater calling then momentary love. He's called you to a God-honoring and ultimately more fulfilling enduring love.
If you missed Part 1 or 2 of this series, I would encourage you to check them out. You may find them helpful!
Let me know some of your thoughts on enduring love in the comments below!