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What is Love?

Shauna Archer /Tuesday, December 7, 2021


When a group of four to eight-year olds were asked “What is love?”, their responses were incredibly accurate and insightful.

  • A young boy answered, “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know your name is safe in their mouth.”
  • A six-year old said, “Love is trying to be nice to the person you hate.”
  • Another child said that love was “Helping a friend cry when they’ve lost something important like their dog or grandpa.” 

Love is often defined as an intense or deep feeling of affection one would feel towards another person. Sure, you can also love things that won’t love you back like a beautiful sunset or lovely piece of pottery or a good game of golf.

But if we consider the wisdom of Scripture and of this group of children, love is not just a feeling about something or between two people, it’s also something we do, an emotion we act upon.

We love others by showing how we love them.

This is love…

The well-known verse of John 3:16 tells us that God loved so much that He gave. What did He give? His only Son.

This is love, God coming from the beauty and perfection and divinity of heaven.

This is love, God quietly arriving without fanfare on a starlit night.

This is love, God as a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, laying in a humble animal manger.

This is love, God living in a body of bones and flesh with the limitations of time and space.

This is love, God coming to be with us.

Consider these words of 1 John 4:9, “This is how God showed His love: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” This love is radical and entirely unmerited, yet given fully and freely. This love constantly redeems, restores, renews, makes right. We cannot even begin to fathom how wide, how deep, and how great this love truly is that God would choose to come among us, to be with us in the flesh, Emmanuel.

Those of us who have experienced just a glimpse of this extravagant love are forever changed by it and our hearts echo John’s words, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!”

Love at Christmas

Friends, at this season of Christmas let’s not hoard this love or keep it secret among ourselves. Let’s shout it from the rooftops and share with our friends because our world has a desperate need to know the God who took on flesh and moved into our neighbourhoods. Who in your life needs this message of love today?

Shauna Archer serves at the Saskatchewan/Manitoba Regional Coordinator for Simply Mobilizing Canada and is the Pastor of Family and Discipleship at Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina, Sask. Married to Tim and mom to two adult children, she enjoys hosting dinner parties, spending time at the cottage, and enjoying new foods. Her prayer is that God’s saving power would be known among people groups everywhere (Ps 67:1-2).



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