‘And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.’ – 1 John 4:16From Sam Lomas:
Love. It’s a striking thing.
Nowadays love appears in many ways. It takes many forms and behind each is a different world view that guides or motivates one’s ‘loving’. Because of this, it can be hard or just down right confusing to understand love for what it really is. But the blue print for love can be found in the Bible. This is what Jesus said of love:
- “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
Love is crucial not only to Jesus’ teaching but to the narrative of the Bible as a whole. If you tuned in for the service last Sunday (29th March), you would have heard me encouraging you to consider reading ‘A Loving Life’ by Paul Miller. So why read this book…
Well, here is why.
By following the story of Ruth and her self-sacrificing love towards Naomi, this book helps us understand love differently. Miller provides easy to understand Biblical teaching on ‘loving relationships’ (romantic & non-romantic). By using Ruth, Naomi, Boaz and the Lord’s roles in the book of Ruth, Miller challenges and helps us to think differently about love.
This book looks at what it means to ‘really’ love someone and it does that by focusing on the Hebrew word ‘Hesed’ which is often translated in our Bibles as ‘Steadfast love’. It is the idea that love is a combination of commitment and a self-sacrificing loyalty. Miller describes it as, ‘Love without an exit strategy’.
Ultimately, this is the type of love that the Lord shows to each of us.
So whether you are single; dating; going out with someone; engaged; married (happily or unhappily); whether you are 15 or 51, this easy-to-read book takes the deep theological concept of love and presents it within a framework for all to understand.
And here is the thing. If we were to take what is said in this book seriously, then it would transform not just the way we view romantic relationships, but completely change the way we show love to our friends, family and the stranger as well.
You can purchase it here.
“Love is what holds all things together, it’s what we’re looking for, it’s what we all need and it’s what we must learn how to give.
But loving people is hard.” – Paul Miller