What's Love Got to Do With It?

Showing love, especially divine love, is a wonderful thing. But it seems impossible for us to do consistently.

Divine love (we often call it agape love) is the love that Eternal Love has for us all. In ancient Greek there were nine words for love, agape (pronounced a-ga-pay) being the highest expression of relationship between people that is possible.

Divine love is often defined by the list in the New Testament of the following characteristics: Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy or boast. Love is not self-seeking, not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

In our experience this list is impossible for us, in our current bodies, to achieve consistently. Our Heavenly Father knows this and understands when we fail. We believe his unfailing love encourages us to persevere and that he is delighted with each attempt we make.

In our view divine love can best be understood by relating it to the love of a good father. We believe that this is a useful analogy as good fathers are aware of the needs of their children and constantly desire that their offspring should grow and mature. Good fathers are generous but are also prepared to discipline their children and create boundaries when necessary. Just as it is impossible to create a comprehensive set of rules to decide how best to raise a child, divine love assesses each individual circumstance and its response is determined by the particular situation. It is impossible to codify how this kind of love operates. 

We believe that divine love is an unfailing love; it never stops loving whatever a person does or believes. When we fail to show love in a relationship it will never cause a permanent rift. We are always forgiven by Eternal Love and will at some point in the eternal future be forgiven by the person we have offended. Knowing this can give a person confidence to attempt to recover any situation. But whatever the outcome in the short term, we can be assured that all will be well in the end.

Accepting that love is above all things, that everyone is loved and that Eternal Love will ensure that eventually everyone will love everyone, does not usually come quickly. We believe it can only be achieved through investigation, discussion and attempted application.