What Do The Bible Say About Love

What Does The Bible Say About Love?

According to the Bible, love is the most important commandment, and the most basic principle of the Christian faith.

Jesus’ greatest commandment to his disciples, and to all of us, was to love one another. This commandment gives us a simple instruction: Love God above all and love our neighbors as ourselves. He also gave us another way to think of love, by saying “love is kind, patient and forgiving” and reminding us that “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

The bible tells us that love is an action, meaning it does not simply exist in the words that we say, but extends to the deeds we do for others. James 2:14-17 talks about true faith that is expressed in action, and that true faith cannot exist without love. As Christians, we are called to love one another, regardless of gender, race, culture, religion or any other difference.

Love is closely connected to faith and obedience, in that it calls us to be obedient to God’s commands and trusting in Him for our growth and maturity in our walk with Him. Loving one another is not just an external action, but speaks to our internal attitudes and beliefs. In other words, love is not just something we do, it is something we are.

The Bible also encourages us to practice unconditional love, which means loving others no matter who they are, what they have done, or even what they might think of us. We’re called by Scripture to take off “the old self” which harbors grudges, judgment, and condemnation and instead to “put on the new self,” filled with compassion, love, and kindness (Colossians 3: 10-14).

More specifically, the Bible teaches that true love is not about feelings, but rather consists of dedication, loyalty, and faithfulness. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of the true mark of love: patience, kindness, and committing to the good of the other person. This is a higher standard than emotion or friendship, which can sometimes be fleeting.

Humility and Love

The Bible speaks much of humility and its connection to love, reminding us that God humbles us so that our hearts will be turned towards loving others. Philippians 2:3-4 says that although love begins with God, it cannot exist within us if we allow pride to take up any space in our lives. Instead, in order for true love to flourish we should seek to be humble in our relationships and interactions with one another.

Israelites were told directly to “walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8), a message echoed in the writings of Paul to think of others as superior, while thinking of ourselves with sober judgment (Romans 12:3). This teaches us that a humble heart is an even greater expression of love than caring words or helpful deeds.

Love in Prayer

As a reminder of God’s love for us, we are often called to include those whom we love in our prayers. Prayers should make clear our love for them, beseeching God to grant them grace and peace necessary for their lives. We are also encouraged to pray for our enemies, along with those whom we love, remembering that the Lord loves us all. We need not hate anyone because of our differences, knowing that God loves them as He loves us.

Mutual Respect

The Bible also teaches us that love should be maintained through mutual respect between individuals regardless of gender, financial or social position, or age. Paul was very clear in his directive to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) and to honor wives and give them respect as equals (Ephesians 5:33).

At the same time, Jesus made clear to the religious leaders of his day that respect is not merely based on social standing (Matthew 14:6). Respect and honor should be maintained through value of both reverence and genuine care and concern for one another, never treating others as inferiors. Mutual respect allows relationships to be rooted in love and commitment, regardless of the differences between two people.


Finally, the Bible speaks to the importance of healthy boundaries in our relationships. Often in unhealthy relationships, individuals cross boundaries in an effort to please someone else, leading to feelings of guilt, shame and wounds. The Bible teaches us to forgive ourselves and those whom we have crossed boundaries with because love does not have to mean pleasing others or seeking to be accepted at the expense of one’s own wants and values.

Ephesians 4:2-3 reminds us to be completely humble and gentle, and to be patient with each other and forgive anyone who offends us, just as God in Christ forgave us. Through understanding boundaries, honoring ourselves and other equally and committing to a life of service to others, we truly show what love looks like.

Patience and Kindness

Patience and kindness towards others is an essential part of faith-based love as described in the Bible. As we are taught to love others unconditionally, we are also reminded to be patient and kind with one another, regardless of the differences between us. Paul teaches us that love of this kind “never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4) and is stronger than any disagreement or difficulty we may face.

We are reminded of the ultimate example of patience and kindness from God through the sacrifice of his own son, Jesus Christ. Jesus modeled patience and kindness, even when people misunderstood, rejected, or judged him – and we, too, need to extend that same patience and kindness to one another.

God’s Definition of Love

The Bible helps us to understand that God’s definition of love is much different than the world’s. We are called to surrender our own needs and desires to serve another person. We are called to serve each other, not out of obligation or reward, but because of our love for one another and our love for God. We are meant to extend grace and compassion which are only possible if our hearts are transformed by the love of the Lord.

Love, as described and exemplified in the Bible, is so much more than a simple emotion or feeling. True and lasting love extends beyond feelings of warmth or fondness, and requires a commitment to serve one another no matter the cost or inconvenience.

Showing Love in Our Actions

God’s holy word reminds us that showing love in action is essential for growing closer to him and for healthy relationships with one another. Jesus said that as we serve one another, we are coming one step closer to serving him (Matthew 25:40).

The Bible is clear in its instruction to love one another, with a love that is greater than any emotion or feeling. Love is a spiritual action that grows with trust and commitment, requiring us to surrender our own wants and needs in order to serve one another and honor God.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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