Authentic love is unconditional in its expression, unselfish in its motive, and unlimited in the benefits.
Optimism, pessimism, suspicion, and fatalism all fail to present life as it really is. In contrast to these four ways we view life God tells us to live with a perspective characterized by reality, joy, trust, and hope.
But the truth is we can't know everything. Most of the time we don't even fully know our own reasons for our actions—how can we possibly know the mind of another?
In the words of Ephesians 4:32, be kind. My sister Luci paraphrases this verse, “Just be nice."
Paul's grand treatise on agape in 1 Corinthians 13 describes love in practical terms that will help us express it effectively to our mates.
When we treat others with indifference we are making an announcement to them, declaring, “I don’t love you.” Towards whom are you apathetic?
The words, “I love you” make an incredible impact, especially when they’re authentic. There’s nothing shallow about authentic love. Real love has staying power. It always opts for working through. It’s resilient.
The highest form of love is charity—the type of devotion that seeks the highest good of another. This love serves unconditionally, regardless the cost. The Bible talks about this kind of sacrificial love in 1 Corinthians 13. This is the kind of love that we need most of all, and it finds its fullest expression in God’s relationship to us.
I accept you, I believe you’re valuable, I care when you hurt, I desire what’s best for you, and I erase all offences. Chuck Swindoll calls this the A-B-Cs of love.