It’s a Love Thing

By Janet Boynes Published on February 14, 2024

Valentine’s Day is almost here with countless expressions of “love.” But what is it? What isn’t it? A million songs and sonnets are about love, but do they capture it? Stream contributor Janet Boynes shares her thoughts.

Love is one of the most powerful words, but so often misunderstood. The actual dictionary meaning shows us that love is a strong and constant affection towards someone. Grammatically, it can be a noun or a verb depending on usage. It’s a word that has different levels of meaning depending on who we are addressing our love towards. There is love towards a friend or towards a hobby. The love towards objects cannot be the same love we demonstrate towards a parent and certainly not the same love given to a spouse. Love on all levels and variations of meaning is the one thing that we all embrace and desire. Without love, we feel hopeless or even helpless. Without love we can feel incomplete and alone. Love is desired and received universally when it is given in its purest form without hypocrisy or hidden motives. Searching for love can be the hardest journey for some. The search for true love can lead us down dark paths until we find love that gives and receives equally.

The Bible Shows Us What Real Love Looks Like

The search for love can have treacherous results because of the misunderstanding of what love really is and the different ways love can be interpreted. When we believe love is available to be dispersed, it can play on our most vulnerable moments. The quest to find love may pull us into unwanted relationships and may bind us to situations that can bring years of agony. A child who has been abused by a parent during their younger years will misunderstand the actions of their parents. They can wrongfully interpret love and can easily be drawn to misguided attention or affection. They need to be free from the abuse of their past. However, their misinterpretation of love through the pain their parents caused can cloud their judgment as adults and cause them to misinterpret abuse as love and continue the cycle of their pain.

Love is not about the candy and the flowers. It is what is done before and after the candy and the flowers.

The Bible puts clarity on love through I Corinthians 13. God, who is the absolute and ultimate explanation and definition of real love, shows us the reality of how to put love on display with one another. Love is not just words spoken, but actions that originate from the heart. Love is enduring and sacrificing. Love seeks the well-being of others before themselves. Love would never rejoice in another’s pain but in their triumphs. Love holds no jealousy and always looks for ways to uplift and never put anyone down. Love doesn’t look for something in return but gives unconditionally because the motives are pure. God showed this love through the sacrifice of His only son. Man did nothing to deserve God’s love, but God did everything to show that there is a love that is pure. We can model our emotions and feelings from the example of God Himself.

How Have You Sought to Give and Receive Love?

Where are you seeking love? Take a moment and think of the people around you who said, “I love you.” We often have blurred vision of other’s motives when we really want to believe something good about them. Sometimes we can’t always determine if what they say is the truth because we desperately want to believe in the actions they show. We don’t want to believe that someone we love could actually not love us. Focus on what they do rather than what they say and then measure it by God’s Word. Are their words of love matching their actions of love consistently? Can their actions of love be found in God’s meaning of love? 

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Beloved, what relationships have you run to during your search for real love? In whose arms have you sought refuge to ease the pains of the past? Love is real. Love doesn’t look for love in return. Love just loves. Wisdom shows us how to keep ourselves out of situations that allude to love but are not real. Are we listening? Love is not about the candy and the flowers. It is what is done before and after the candy and the flowers. It’s not the sensuality of the situation and the sexual annotations. Sex and lust misuse and abuse the definition of love. To the unsuspecting and vulnerable, sex can cloud the thinking and bring emotions that are deceptive. Go back to God’s Word. Go back to God. What does God say? He shows us with clarity what this love thing is all about. 

Go Back to God

What if you have lived in misconceptions of what love is? What if you have abused or misused your power or authority over someone because of something in your past? Again, go back to God. Take His Word and see what God says love is. God gives us strength and ability to love. He shows us how to give and receive love. Trust Him. Believe Him and then walk in it.


Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, Minnesota, in 2006. She authored the books Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom, God & Sexualityand her latest: God & The LGBT Community. Janet is an ordained minister under the Assemblies of God and travels the U.S. and overseas sharing a message of redemption and hope through the power of Jesus Christ.

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