Is Love Only An Action?

(Is love only an action?) Bible Question

Question:

“One of my family members will not say that he loves his wife. He says love is an action. And his actions proves that he loves her. But, she wants to be told and misses hearing it. Is love only an action?”

Answer:

” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16; New American Standard Bible)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Love is certainly seen in actions. We know God loves us because He sent His Son to die for us, even when we were still sinners. God demonstrated His love in a real and tangible way. You cannot avoid the love in God’s actions.

But love is also an emotion. God felt something for all of us before He demonstrated that feeling. Jesus had similar feelings. Notice when He met a leper (an outcast cut off from human contact): “moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him” (Mark 1:41). Jesus acted out of His compassion for him. Love is seen in our actions, but originates in the heart as a feeling for others.

I am not surprised that your family member misses hearing the words. After all, God wrote the words down for us to read, to hear and to experience. God communicated His love in more than just actions. He did it in words. And, so did Jesus . . .

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:12, 13)

Jesus verbalized His feelings for His disciples and then pointed to His actions.

Later (after His resurrection), Jesus asked Peter to express his feelings.  Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Finally Peter said it for the third time . . .

“Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.” – John 21:17 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus spoke verbally of His love. He asked others to express their love in return. So even though love is seen in actions, some actions that express love best are those words we use to tell others that we love them. Whether it’s family, friends, enemies or the lost.

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