People spend years searching for the meaning of true love, but very few turn to the Bible to learn what it has to say about it. The Bible is full of passages about love, and it’s one of the central themes of scripture. Love is one of the most important virtues of living a Christian life, so we should really be turning to God to understand what it means.
In fact, the Bible says that “love is of God” and “God is love” (1 John 4:7–8); in other words, love is a fundamental characteristic of who God is. Everything God does is influenced by His love. There are different types of love: the love we have for our friends and family, and then romantic love we have for a significant other. The Bible talks about both, and is clear about what romantic true love means.
We all want to have our fairytale ending where we live “happily ever after.” We want to find someone that we can spend the rest of our lives with and feel forever, true love with. The concept of soul mates first appears in Genesis 2:19 which states, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” From the beginning, God designed the concept of companionship and created a picture of partnership in the first relationship between Adam and Eve. This is further evidenced throughout scripture in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph, and many others. God placed a longing in us for companionship. God wants what is best for us, and has a great plan prepared for our lives when it comes to friends, dating and especially marriage and love.
One of the most beloved passages in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which states: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” This verse describes the characteristics of true love.
All of these qualities can be found within Jesus Christ, and they can also be found in healthy, loving relationships. The problem for most people searching for their true love is that they are sacrificing those qualities in a partner. Instead, they are looking for someone with a good physical appearance, popularity, or wealth. None of these are qualities that God looks at when finding someone perfect for us, and so we shouldn’t either. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Love is not just an emotion, but seen as an act of devotion. True devotion will always lead to loving actions. 1 John 3:18 says “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” A relationship between soul mates is built on mutual respect, trust and, above all, a solid relationship with God. A soul mate does not come to you in a dream or vision, or even at first sight. Rather, a soul mate relationship is developed over time as one gets acquainted with their spouse and discovers who that person truly is. This takes time and devotion to the other person.
While this kind of love and commitment isn’t always portrayed on prime-time television or in Hollywood films, the concept of a soul mate still represents something miraculous and wonderful. It is the kind of love that comes, not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to love an imperfect person unconditionally.
The Bible says that we are to love others the way that God loves us. We are to love the family of God (1 Peter 2:17). Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). As we show benevolent, selfless love, we reflect God’s love to a lost and dying world. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
True love is something that is real and can be found in today’s world. God has someone out there for us that is waiting to give us the love that we deserve. Until then, it’s important to share God’s love with those around you. God wants us to show compassionate, caring love to others. By doing so, we learn what it means to really love someone besides ourselves and it prepares us for true romantic love later on it life.