What is Love?

A Radical Call to Action

Gloria Nelson

2/14/20242 min read

heart shape book page close-up photography
heart shape book page close-up photography

It’s the month of love! Some of us may enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day, while others may be bored with it, or feel it’s unimportant. Wherever you stand on this, I believe we should always be up for celebrating love. To love, and be loved, is the greatest human need. Without it, we become a shell of ourselves, never reaching our potential, and instead, developing all manner of emotional dysfunction.

If you’ve ever visited an orphanage in a poor community, you’ve likely seen children who don’t smile or interact like you’d expect children to do. Our family had the opportunity to visit the orphanage where our two youngest children began their lives. We were struck with how frightened the children were of us. Even when we gave suckers and toys to the toddlers, they never even looked at them. With concerned eyes, they stayed focused on us. Some of them even hid in an open cabinet. They hadn’t experienced the love of a mother and father and thus had no sense of security. Because we were created to grow under the care of loving parents, the souls of these little ones were thrown off and damaged by a loss they couldn’t begin to understand.

That visit was 18 years ago, now. It remains etched in my mind. It reminds me of why we chose to adopt in the first place. We wanted to rescue a child from a lifetime of emptiness. We knew that there were many children caught in the brokenness of life, and we had the ability to radically change one of their lives forever. And, not just in the temporal world, but in the eternal realm, too. Eventually, God gave us two adopted children to welcome into our family. Oh, what joy they have brought us!

We can all radically change lives through love. We live in a world where hatred is expressed through anger, resentment, and cruelty. As followers of Jesus, we understand what it is to be loved. We understand that we are called to love others as Jesus loved us. When our faith is operating properly, it overflows in us, spilling out to those around us. When this happens, people see that we belong to Jesus. Watching us love each other, with a love like no other, draws people into the truth of Christianity.

We are called to be witnesses of the Cross. There is no greater way to do this than to love others. So this Valentine’s Day, even if chocolates and roses aren’t your thing, you can still get out there and love on people through your kindness, generosity, and (and this is a big “AND”), your adherence to the truth. Jesus never watered down the truth. He used the truth to love on the world, one person at a time.

Live like Jesus by loving like Jesus!

Gloria Nelson

Teaching & Training Consultant

Read Bio Here

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:34-35

"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story..."

Psalm 107:2