1 John 4:11
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
God’s love for mankind is a model for you to love others. When discussing the love of God, there is no way to explain how great His love is for the world. What is amazing about God’s love is that if every person patterned their love after His, they would never have any problems in a relationship that could not be resolved. The biggest problem in most relationships is that the love of those individuals in that relationship is not patterned after the love of God; therefore, they have problems that cannot be resolved. Every relationship problem could be cared for in a godly manner if at least one person in the relationship chose to pattern their love after God’s.
To determine whether we truly love someone is to say that we love others the same way that God loved us. So, how did God love us? John 3:16 answers that question when it says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In this verse, you can find the greatest model of love that will resolve every relationship problem. Let me share how God loves us so you can see how you should love others.
First, God chose to love us. Love is a decision, not a feeling or an emotion. You choose to love someone just as much as you choose to hate or dislike someone. You don’t fall into love with people, but you choose to love people. In other words, you could love anyone if you chose to love them. Love has nothing to do with the other person loving you; rather, it has everything to do with you choosing to love the other person, even if they choose not to love you.
Second, God “so” loved us. The word “so” means that the love is so great and so deep that there is no boundary to define where it stops. In other words, God “so” loving you means that His love has no boundary that stops it. You cannot love others like God until you take away the borders where love stops. Godly love will love people without borders.
Third, God loved us at our best AND at our worst. God didn’t just love the world when it was good; rather, He loves the world at its worst. You could fix many of your relationship problems if you chose to love people at their worst. To say that you don’t love someone anymore is to say that you never loved them because love loves at the best AND at the worst.
Fourth, God’s love gave to us when we were at our worst. God loves us as sinners. If you truly love someone, you will give of yourself to others even when they are bad. To copy God’s love is to give to the other person even when the other person is not treating you how they should treat you. When you copy God’s love, you will love the other person even when they are not who they should be.
Fifth, God loves us without knowing if we will love Him back. God gave His Son to die for us without knowing if we would accept His love. True love is a one-way street. True love will love the other person without them reciprocating love back to you.
Sixth, God loves us unto the end. To love someone unto the end is to say that you will love them all the way to Heaven. If you can get this type of love, you will have no problems in loving any person.