What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?
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.—I Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
This verse describes the characteristics of true love. These qualities can certainly be found in the person of Jesus Christ, and they can be found in all truly loving relationships. The problem with trying to "find" love in our dating lives, is that too often we don't look for these characteristics. Rather we look at physical appearance, popularity, or wealth. These are not the qualities that God looks at and neither should we.
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.—I Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
Love is best seen as devotion and action, not an emotion. Love is not exclusively based on how we feel. Certainly our emotions are involved, but they cannot be our only criteria for love. True devotion will always lead to action - true love.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with ACTIONS and in truth. I John 3:18 (NIV)
Christ was devoted to us enough to give his own life for us (Romans 5:8), even when he didn't feel like it (Matthew 26:39).