6 Ways the Bible Describes Love

Love is used far too broadly in our culture today. We love our parents and pizza. How can these two comparisons share the same feelings of love? Yet the love that the Bible reveals is just as complex and simple—there is agape love, romantic love, friendship love, and familial love. Love matters and our relationship with God can only grow based on love. When we are completely secure in His love, we are free to love others in the same way. Check out the six different ways the Bible describes love:

#1) Love Of God For The World

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

God loved us when we were still lost in our sins. His unconditional (agape) love means that we are loved completely and that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God.  Our human minds can’t fathom the love of God in Christ for us. Not one of us would send our child to suffer and die for an unjust, rebellious, and sinful world. However God’s love for us was so passionate that even when Jesus asked that this cup be passed from Him—God still sent Him to the cross for you and me. Read Romans 5:8; 8:35-39 and Mathew 26:36-46.

#2) Love Of Believers For God

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37).

Many of us have often struggled with this concept of loving God with everything that is within us. We have the desire and not always the follow thru in our love for Him. The issue lies not in our intentions, but in our source of love. We simply can’t love God with all our heart, soul, and mind unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God compels those who are faithful and obedient to live out their lives fully in a deep and complete love for God. Read Matthew 26:41 and Romans 5:5; 8:14-16.

#3) Love Of A Husband/Wife Relationship

“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20).

The marriage relationship is meant to last the lifetime of one man and one woman. This type of love may begin with an attraction or infatuation; however, neither can last very long. Husbands and wives have to grow into an unconditional love in order to make it to the end. When both spouses are filled with the Holy Spirit there can be a mutual commitment of loving each other through the wonderful as well as the difficult days.

#4) Love Of A Parent To Child

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him” (Genesis 37:3).

Parental love that models the love of our heavenly Father for His children is beautiful and can be felt throughout the generations. Israel loved Joseph, but his favoritism caused a horrible rift of jealousy and hatred within his children. There needs to be balance in our love for children that doesn’t provide room for the enemy. We love our children, but we love God more and raise them up in the spirit of agape love provided through Jesus Christ. Read Genesis 37:1-36 and Matthew 10:-37-39).

#5) Love Of a Friend to Friend

“And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:3).

The love of friends is precious and encouraging for those who’ve been able to experience it. A friend is someone you count on to help you through the difficult days and rejoice with you in blessings. A true friendship will be tested just like any other relationship. Those friendships that can survive conflict or disagreements can grow into a rich life long relationship with many great memories together. Read Proverbs 27:6 and Romans 12:15.

#6) Love of All Believers

“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:39).

Many people believe that it’s much easier to love God than others even those in the church. This is true because God is sinless and without fault; whereas men and women are full of sin and problematic. Yet God still calls us to love each other unconditionally just as He loves each one of us. When we love each other, the love of Christ is revealed through us and those who are lost are drawn towards the kingdom of God. We love each other because He first loved us. Read 1 John 3:16; 4:19-21 and Hebrews 10:24.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love is what separates Christians from all the other world religions which are based on human works rather than grace. We come to God filthy in our sins and He loves us. We come to God faithful and He loves us. We come to God with doubts or fears and He loves us. We are loved by a holy and righteous Father who wants us to live our lives fully immersed in the oceans of agape love. Take time to meditate and pray on God’s word that reveals the truth of His love today.

Article by Crystal McDowell

Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.  

Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.