Love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, arrogant, or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It never rejoices in wrong, but always in truth. It bears, believes, hopes, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13.4-8a; my paraphrase)
In my experience, most people, most often speak of (indeed, rhapsodize about) love as a feeling. However, as a biblicist and theologue, I am wedded to the Apostle Paul’s testimony of love.
Yes, love can and does express itself through our emotions. As affection. As fondness. Yet if love is but a seed planted in and springing from the soil of the heart, then, because of our inherent human self-interest, it cannot be unconditional and, much less, constant. For feelings come and go, rise and fall, flow and ebb, wax and wane.
For love to be love as Paul describes, its source is spiritual, Divine; imparted and implanted in the human will. And then, in some transfiguring way that defies earthly knowing, Spirit when joined in flesh becomes both seed and soil from which springs all other loves of family, of friends, of community, of nation, of self.
© 2022 PRA