Love is a big word. It can mean a lot of things. Love is so big it needs context to be meaningful.
Within the English language there are a lot of meanings of the word love: We love a beautiful sunset, our dog, homemade bread, and Christmas lights. We love our spouse, children, siblings, and parents. We love our friends.
But we also use the exact same word to say we love the gospel and our Savior. We default to using the word “love” in both trivial and monumental matters. In fact, the world’s use of love can also mean something very different from God’s love. No wonder we’re confused.
So what does the Apostle John say about how God uses the word LOVE? This week, he teaches us that God is love. He also explains that there are many facets of God’s love:
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3)
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected” (1 John 2:5)
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9)
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3)
Here, scriptures teach that God’s love is manifested in His son, Jesus Christ. We call it “Christlike love” because God and Christ are LOVE.
This is powerfully taught by Elder Holland:
“Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part because righteousness was
always supposed to accompany it. So if love is to be our watchword, as it must be, then by the
word of Him who is love personified, we must forsake transgression …”
Godly, holy love is also manifested in the covenant relationship between a husband and wife. This is taught in the Family Proclamation:
“God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. … Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children” (Para 4 & 6).
Indeed, love is a big word. And while love can mean many different things in our world today, God uses it to show His love for Christ, Commandments, and Covenant Relationships.