I had the opportunity to sit in during the junior high Sunday School class this week and was thrilled to have Matt Lundberg fill in for Jennifer. Matt led a discussion coming from 1 John 4 which discusses love and how we are to love since God has loved us. The discussion evolved into an interesting debate on the differences between true love and like (or “modern love” as one 8th grader termed it). The concept of love is difficult to explain but I was really encouraged by the level of involvement from the students in the discussion.
To like something is to be pleased with it at a certain time. There have been times in my life when I have liked a certain food or color or person, but when I change and time elapses I do not like that thing anymore. It is impossible to like something and be disappointed in it at the same time. For example if you had a steak that was over cooked and nearly uneatable, you would not say I like this steak. You might say I like steak in general, but this particular steak is not meeting up to my expectations. The act of liking something is a temporary emotional feeling that goes away as quickly as it comes.
At its root love is not an emotion or a feeling, but rather something that we choose to do and have toward another person. Our love is a response to the love that has been shown us, particularly from Jesus Christ. Thus we do not cease to love our God or another person because they have failed us. We chose to love because God loved us, and we love even in the midst of disappointments, just as God loves us in the midst of our failures.
Love is an important concept that as parents we need to work to impress on our children. Teach them to love properly both God and their fellow-man. Keep up the good work!