Question:

Hello. I have a question about love in the biblical sense. I am a member of the church and have been for a while now, but I am confused by the meaning of love in the Bible. I know this sounds like a stupid question, but is love a thing a feeling or a desire?

While I try to have peace with everyone I'm still unsure if I have unconditional love for all people. I know the Bible sets loving everyone as a commandment to follow, so I guess I'm just wondering if I'm loving the way I should. Our minister onced preached if we truly love God, in which I truly love and cherish God, then we will love our neighbors brothers and sisters in Christ.

I have had a rough childhood growing up concerning love. My father verbally abused me for many years, and he never said he loved me or really shown me in a way that a father should love his child. That left me feeling very shy, timid and with a very low self-confidence. As an adult I still am very shy and timid and do not fellowship with my other sisters and brothers in Christ. I always sit in the back pew every Sunday, almost afraid to talk to anyone, but that doesn't mean I don't love everyone; does it?

I know this is a silly question to ask you, but I am just unsure of my love. I try to be on the right path of God and hope this is the right path. I continue to pray about this on a daily basis, as well as go to church every Sunday. Please respond if you can help me. Thank you so much for your time.


Answer:

In regards to what love is, please see the following:

"When we love God, how do you define love?"
"I'm still confused as what love is. Is it a feeling, an action, or both?"
"Love is ..."

It seems odd to me that you speak of your father never really showing love to his children and then wonder if just coming on Sunday's to sit at the back of the building is showing love for your brethren. In what way is your love shown? How does anyone know your love is there? "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (I John 3:16-19).

You cannot blame your father for who you choose to be. He might have made life harder for you or started you out on the wrong foot, but you are an adult now and responsible for your own decisions. So what if you are shy? Does shyness stop you from sending cards to those who are not feeling well? Can you make something for the mother with the newborn baby? Can you give a word of encouragement to someone who is down, even if it is nothing more than "I'm praying for you"?