Quotes about Love-Defined


Love is giving – giving of oneself to another. It is not getting, as the world says today. It is not feeling and desire; it is not something over which one has no control. It is something that we do for another. No one loves in the abstract. Love is an attitude that issues forth in something that actually, tangibly happens.


Love at first is not feeling. Love first can be expressed as giving. That is at the core of love. If one gives, the feeling of love will follow. To love we must give of ourselves, of our time, of our substance, of whatever it takes to show love; for giving is fundamental to the biblical idea of love.


What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.


Love is an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object.


Biblical love is not emotions or feelings, but attitudes and actions that seek the best interests of the other person, regardless of how we feel toward him.


Love binds together all virtues of Christian character. Love is not so much a character trait as the inner disposition of the soul that produces them all… Though love may be more a motivational force than an actual display of Christian virtue, it always results in actions on our part. Love inclines us and directs us to be kind, to forgive, to give of ourselves to one another.


The primary meaning of the word “love” in Scripture is a purposeful commitment to sacrificial action for another. In fact, loving God is demonstrated by obeying His Word (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23-24; 1 Jn. 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:6). Powerful emotions may accompany biblical love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds love steadfast and unchanging. Emotions may change, but a commitment to love in a biblical manner endures and is the hallmark of a disciple of Jesus Christ.


Feelings change. You can’t promise to have a feeling. So if love is a feeling, the marriage vow makes no sense at all. But the vow does make sense because love is not a feeling. What is it, then? Love is a commitment of the will to the true good of another person. Of course, people who love each other usually do have strong feelings too, but you can have those feelings without having love. Love, let me repeat, is a commitment of the will to the true good of another person.


Love is not a thing of enthusiastic emotion. It is a rich, strong, manly, vigorous expression of the whole round Christian character – the Christ-like nature in its fullest development. And the constituents of this great character are only to be built up by ceaseless practice.


Love is NOT:

1. Something you “fall into” – a black hole.

2. Infatuation. Emotional loss of control. “Flipped out…” “Couldn’t help myself.” Romanticism and sentimentalism. “Puppy love.” Boy-crazy; girl-crazy.

3. Evaluating another by external criteria. “She’s a #10.”

4. Selfish. Interested in “getting” to satisfy my needs.

5. Taking advantage of another (age, height, weight, looks, intellect, emotional maturity, spiritual maturity, social standings, social skills, psychological understanding, place of authority, financial superiority, etc.).

6. Improper need fulfillment. Need for love, acceptance, relating, bonding, belonging, to be valued, affirmed, excitement, identity, etc.

7. Lust. Hormones. Lasciviousness, sensuality. “Let’s get physical.”

8. Sex. “Making love.”

9. Idolatry. “……is my life.” Totally preoccupied in attention and time.


Love is: 1. Respectful of the other person’s values, standards and opinions. 2. Unselfish and unconditional. 3. A decision to relate to the other person at every level – spiritual, psychological and physical. 4. Giving of oneself to the other. 5. Responsible to seek the highest good of the other person “for better or for worse.” 6. God in action (Rom. 5:5; 1 John 4:8, 16).


In biblical thinking, genuine love exists only when good works are done in a context where God rather than the doer gets the credit.


To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ’s love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was His life.


Love as distinct from "being in love" is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.


Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.


Genuine love is not merely a feeling or an involuntary attraction. It involves a willful choice, and that is why (the word is often) in the form of an imperative. Far from being something we “fall into” by happenstance, authentic love involves a deliberate, voluntary commitment to sacrifice whatever we can for the good of the person we love.


[Love] is not a feeling but a determined act of will, which always results in determined acts of self giving. Love is the willing, joyful desire to put the welfare of others above our own.


Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training.


Love is not an emotion to which we may give expression now and then, as we feel inclined; it is a duty required of us at all times by God, and the children of God ought surely to obey their Heavenly Father (Alexander Ross).


Love is the total giving of self for the welfare of another without requiring anything in return (Tony Hart).


Love, generally, is that principle which leads one moral being to desire and delight in another, and reaches its highest form in that personal fellowship in which each lives in the life of the other, and finds his joy in imparting himself to the other, and in receiving back the outflow of that other’s affection unto himself (James Orr).


In Himself, God is love; through Him, love is manifested, and by Him, love is defined.


According to the world, we love in order to be loved. According to the Word, we love because God first loved us. Whereas the world falls in love, God’s people are established in love. The love that we possess, however, is not a fleeting whim that comes and goes with every mood and circumstance; rather, it is a love that is beyond ourselves. Our love, true love, has meaning, meaning that cannot be stripped away by any thing, any one, or any feeling. Our love cannot be shaken because it is grounded not in self but in sacrifice.


Love is the overflow of joy in God! It is not duty for duty’s sake, or right for right’s sake. It is not a resolute abandoning of one’s own good with a view solely to the good of the other person. It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God’s grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of sharing that grace with another person. Buy Now


Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.


Love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved. There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.




Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others… It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God’s grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of extending this joy in God to another person.



Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.




[Love is] a selfless and enduring commitment of the will to care about and benefit another person by righteous, truthful, and compassionate thoughts, words and actions.


Biblical love is one that is first deliberate and modeled after God’s love. It starts in the mind, but it is not stoic. It’s personal, passionate and practiced, flowing from the heart as a fruit of the Holy Spirit.


Love is not just emotional. Biblical love starts and continually involves the mind. The affections are merely the expression of the love. Jeremiah tells us the heart is desperately sick. If we let our affections direct our love, we’ll be no different than the world – falling in and out of love. Biblical love is also a self-sacrificial action that puts the needs of others above ourselves. Affections will never get you to that level. Additionally, biblical love only loves what God loves. Again, mere affections will never rise to that level.


True love is God’s character and the reflection of that as it is revealed in Scripture. Who He is and what He loves is the definition of love. If God is indeed the embodiment of all true love and truth and goodness and we are His created beings made in His image to reflect His glory, it makes absolutely no sense – it’s blasphemous and self-destructive behavior – to imply we know better than Him when it comes to love.


In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action.


Christian love is never theoretical or abstract; it is always practical.


The desire of love is to give. The desire of lust is to get.


Love: Seeking the highest possible good for the object of your affection, in purity, protection, and provision.