Love is a powerful concept. Everyone wants to be loved. I mean truly loved. Don’t settle for a counterfeit. This article will show you the five elements of true love so you can give it to others and experience it for yourself.

Everyone wants to be loved, but love is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the world.

Do you know what real love is? Most people don’t. As a result, they give their hearts to the wrong person or end up hurt deeply as relationships fail.

What does true love look like?

Here are a few things that love is not:

  • Love is not selfishness.
  • Love is not sex.
  • Love is not lust.
  • Love is not like.

There are four basic kinds of love found in the Bible. They are identified by these four Greek Words.

  1. Eros – This is sexual love. The word is not found in Bible, but the subject is discussed.
  2. Storge’ – This is family love. It is used 1 time in the King James Bible.
  3. Phileo – This is emotional love. It is fondness based on affection. It says, “I love you because ___________.” It feeling over reason. It is the “love” that most people experience.
  4. Agape’ – This is godly Christian love. It is committed, sacrificial love. It says, “I love you because I choose to love you.” This is the love that God has for us and He teaches us to have for others. It is the strongest of all loves. It is TRUE LOVE.

Let’s learn how to recognize true love so that we can give it to others and enjoy it ourselves.

1. Love Provides​

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

1 Timothy 5:8

True love gives. It wants to provide for the needs of its object at its own expense.

God so loved the world, that He provided a way of salvation. Have you accepted His love?

Selfishness is a sin.

Lust takes with no thought of consequence. Love gives with no thought of return.

2. Love Protects

​”Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:8

Ezekiel chapter sixteen reveals how much God loves Israel. She was like a helpless baby that He chose to love and protect. He used this story to show His people how He had cared for them and how their idolotry was sinful.

People protect what they love:

  • People
  • Things
  • Activities
  • God
  • Even their sin.

3. Love Punishes

This ingredient of true love my shock you. Especially those who believe that “love is license.” Love always provides boundaries to keep loved ones safe and protect the relationship.

God gave us boundries. A lifestyle of holiness and Bible standards protects us from sin that will come between us and our Lord.

A healthy marriage has boundaries. Parents provide boundaries for their children. The list could go on. Consider these Bible verses.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Hebrews 12:5-11

“Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

Proverbs 23:13-14

Don’t trip over the word “beat” in this verse. The Bible is not advocating child abuse. It is an old English word that speaks of spanking. Appropriate administration of immediate feedback is the fastest and best way to teach any concept. Childrearing is no different.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Proverbs 13:24

This verse encapsulates the truth from this point. Love corrects. Allowing people to do whatever they want while protecting them from the consequences is a form a hatred.

Don’t get mad at me… I’m just telling you what God said.

4. Love Prefers

​”Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

Romans 12:10

The word “preferring” means to show deference. True love puts the needs of others before its own.

This also applies to our love for God.
Love for God and obedience to Him (preferring Him) are connected. We love God by obeying Him instead of doing what we want.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.​

John 14:15

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.​”

John 14:23

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

John 15:10

5. Love Promotes

Love promotes its object. True love announces its object, talks up its virtue, and advances its cause.

​”And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Romans 5:5

How do you speak about the people you “love?”

Do you promote the things of God? Many people are embarrased or afraid to promote God. True love casts out fear.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

Love is not ashamed of its object. Love declares itself. Think of the sports fan who wears team gear and talks about the season. Think of a spouse or parent who can’t stop talking about their family.

People know what you truly love and people know what you say you love, but talk poorly about. There is a vast difference.

“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

1 Corinthians 8:3

Do the people in you life know that you love God? They should!

People will know what you truly love. It cannot be hidden.

This article was not written so you could analyze everyone in your life and determine if they “really” love you. However, there may be someone who is in a caustic relationship (work, family, friends, fiance’, etc.) that needs to break ties or lovingly establish boundaries.

This article was written so that you can love God and others with True Love. Imagine how different your world would be if you become a conduit for God’s Love. Make it so Lord!