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What does the Bible say about falling in love?

Most everybody desires to fall in love. As humans we share an innate longing to experience a special soul-level connection with someone. The world has tried to explain this phenomenon for centuries. Fairy tales depict a destined love at first sight, old married couples reminisce on years of friendship, and scientists study the role of pheromones in physical attraction. The Bible tells us that humans were made for relationship with one another and relationship with God (Genesis 2:18; Matthew 22:36–40). Not everyone is designed for a marriage relationship, but the longing to be loved and to love is part of what it is to be human. For many people, marriage is a key part of this love. The Bible tells us marriage is an image of Christ's relationship with the Church (Ephesians 5:22–33). In the Western world, marriage is often preceded by falling in love.

The Bible does not talk specifically about falling in love, but it does have a lot to say about love. Here it is important to distinguish between different types of love. The Greek, the original language in which the New Testament was written, had four different terms for love: agape (self-sacrificial love), phileo (brotherly love or love between friends), storge (familial or affectionate love), and eros (sexual or passionate love). While our English word love covers a broad spectrum of types of love, we understand that there is a big difference between loving pizza, loving one's parents, and loving one's spouse. Falling in love is often a mixture of different types of love. Sometimes it is more about lusting after a person or an emotional high (perhaps more like eros love). Other times falling in love is a genuine connection and companionship, a sense of knowing and being known, and a desire to walk through life with one another. It develops into a true, committed, lifelong decision to love the other regardless what may come.

The Bible describes true love as selfless, kind, forgiving, unifying, patient, healing, and sacrificial (for example, see 1 Corinthians 13; Colossians 3:12–14). We are also told that "God is love" (1 John 4:16). When people love one another, it is a choice and a commitment. It is an act of service someone does in order to improve the condition of someone else. It is intentional and not dependent on how someone is feeling or what circumstances they are in. Jesus loved everyone. He loved both those who followed Him and those who condemned Him to the cross.

The world often equates falling in love with a surge of romantic emotions propelled by hormones. It is dependent upon physical attraction, happy circumstances, and strong feelings. Under this definition of love, it is easy to fall out of love when things get difficult or when our feelings change. With the worldly way of thinking, it is easy to excuse divorce, adultery, and casual sex because of how we feel. Physical attraction and happy romantic emotions are not wrong in and of themselves; they can be a wonderful expression of love. However, the foundation of love must be rooted in God. Otherwise these feelings can be hijacked by sinful motives such as lust and infatuation. It is only with God that we can commit to selflessly serve another person regardless of how we are feeling or what is happening around us.

The Song of Solomon gives us the best example in the Bible of romantic love. King Solomon and his wife express all the intense emotions of being in love, yet it is evident that this is an unconditional love founded upon commitment. "Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised" (Song of Solomon 8:6–7).

So instead of waiting to fall in love with that perfect soulmate, choose to live a life motivated by true love found only in God. Then when you do meet someone special and fall in love it won't be by chance, it will be intentional. Instead of dreading the end of the honeymoon stage, you can look forward to cultivating a deeper love than you ever imagined possible.


Related Truth:

Does the Bible talk about dating / courting?

What does the Bible teach about marriage?

With all its challenges, why even consider marriage?

How will I know when I've found the right spouse for me?

What is some advice for making marriage last?


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