When I was single, a friend told me she loved me. It was an awkward moment. I did not know what to say because I didn't love her in the same way. She was a valued friend but I was not “in love” with her. I will never forget her response. She said, “I love you, it's a gift. I expect nothing from you.” The profound nature of that statement set me free in a lasting relationship.

This type of love is hard to find, yet unforgettable when you experience it! This love is characterized by a willingness to give unselfishly, with no expectations. It flows from the character of the giver.

Many of us have experienced a love that has strings or conditions attached. It might sound like, “I will love you if you are strong or successful or beautiful.” That type of love creates fear and insecurity.

God is the ultimate source of love because, “God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). It is his nature. He is complete and perfect in his love. Experiencing his love has transformed my life and all my relationships. He has become my source of love. Since his love has no limits, he gives me the ability to love beyond my own resources.

His love can fill us so we can give rather than expect or demand love from those around us. We can truly love better because he first loved us.

Father God, thank you for your gift of love. In the moments that I doubt your love, I consider the cross and your willingness to let Jesus die for me, for my sin, and guilt. Thank you that your love is not based on my performance but on your unchanging nature. Amen.

Go Deeper — Read the verse at the top of the page, replace the word “love” with “God.”(i.e., God is patient… God is kind…), then read it again replacing the word “love” with your name. How does that make you feel about God? How does it make you feel about yourself?

Read Further — Do you feel unloved, or sad you have never experienced the type of love Mike did with his friend? Are you not sure you “feel” God’s love? This article, Unloved is about a woman who felt the same way.

Tags: 1 & 2 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 13
Photo Credit: Danielle MacInnis