God is love. - 1 John 4:8
Folks often overlook one simple fact: the Christian faith was the first religion to define God as the essential embodiment of love. The one, true God exists eternally as a community of being. This claim--God is love--is not simply a statement that God is lovely or that God is loving. Both are true, of course, but the claim that God is love is quite extraordinary and should be given an appropriate degree reflection.
We're all guilty of taking love for granted; we simply do not pay it enough mind. Without love, though, life is simply unbearable. Who could fathom wanting to live in a love-less universe? Apart from love we will inevitably fail to properly ground meaning. Love is what we all crave, need, and were meant to experience. Believe me, it is much more than mere emotion or sentimentality or even affection.
Love, from a Christian standpoint, is and has been taken to be a two-fold reality:
That is, we cannot make sense of love as something other than interpersonal. Love is by its very nature something that requires two or more persons. Likewise, the manner and motive in which two (or more) persons treat each other will only be 'true love' when each person 'gives one's self' to the other for the right reasons and in the right way. Love is not love without moral boundaries. We all implicitly know this, whether we fess up to it or not. Furthermore, love is not mere affirmation. Not everything is worth affirming. In point of fact, to affirm everything is to value nothing.
Consider this: Only the Christian worldview can make sense of the 'eternality of love.' Only Christianity satisfies the preconditions for the intelligibility of love, since on the doctrine of the Trinity, Three Persons share the same essence from all eternity (giving and receiving love) and treating the other persons in the Godhead in a morally appropriate act of self-giving. No other faith can ultimately make sense of "eternal love" without being reduced to some form of absurdity. We’ve all heard that “love is what makes the world go ‘round.” That statement is truer than we realize. God makes the world go ‘round, and God is Love.
Word for the Way:
Only the Triune God of Scripture satisfies the preconditions for Love.