”And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:16,20.
I’d like to say that ”Love is God-honoring action taken in response to God’s grace for God’s glory and/or a man’s good.” Well, this is a mouthful quote, but I think it captures what scriptures says about love. It fits very well with what Christ did at the cross, because what HE did at the cross was for God’s (HIS) glory. It was also for the good of mankind.
This definition also fits well for areas of life like parenting and pastoring. Now I’m not a parent yet, but in a parenting situation, oftentimes a parent will have the occasion to discipline a child, and let’s just stipulate that there are two ways we could do this: we could do this out of anger and frustration, or we could take it out of love to train our child up to respect authority, to be more disciplined, to understand what a Godly influnced-man authority structure looks like. So-the-same (alike) action with two different intents, one can be “not loving” and the other, “loving”. Of course, our intent matters. Even how we parent, how we treat our siblings, our own parents, our colleagues and others can display love, and you can’t just look at the action itself to determine that. The intent really matters. Peace be unto You!