Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
misconceptions of love

We want love. We need love. More than one thousand song titles contain the word love. We write books about it. Recite poems. We chase it and sing about it and fall for misconceptions of love. And no matter what we do, we can’t get enough.

Maybe that’s because we don’t understand what love really is. And there’s no time when misconceptions of love are more prevalent than Valentine’s Day.

1. We think of love as something that happens to us, but it’s an intentional decision.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34 ESV).

2. We think romantic love must be young and sexy, but faithful love lingers long after our bodies begin to fail.
“So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:15 ESV).

3. We think a loving marriage is all about our happiness, but the Bible tells us it’s a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church.
“‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31-32 ESV).

4. We think love is about saying nice things, but true love is seen as well as heard.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18 ESV).

5. We think “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” when true love means we’re the first to apologize.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 ESV).

6. We think the goal of love is to make us feel special, when the goal of love is to put the other person’s needs before ours.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (I John 3:16 ESV).

7. We think love is our idea, but the Bible tells us God loved us first.
“We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19 ESV).

8. We think we should only love those who love us, but we are to love even our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV).

And the biggest misconception about love?

9. We think love is just an emotion, but the Bible tells us it is a Person.
“God is love” (I John 4:8 ESV).

The greatest expression of love occurred when God gave the life of His Son to restore us to Him through the sacrifice of Christ. Receiving His love enables us to give it to others.

Love is to be treasured, whether we’re celebrating the love of family, a spouse, or a good friend. And the most costly manifestation of love was first extended by God to us. Let’s lay aside the misconceptions and treat love as the precious gift it truly is.

What other misconceptions of love can you add to this list?

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16 Comments

  1. Dave Parks

    Thank you for this, Ava!

    At our house we have often reminded each other that love is a decision.

  2. Ava Pennington

    Absolutely right, Dave!

  3. Joanna Schwarz

    One of the greatest gifts of advice given to me and my husband before we got married was that love is an action not a feeling and it means commitment. If you love each other you stay committed no matter how you feel. It has held us through many tough times in the past 25 years!

  4. Ava Pennington

    Great advice for newlyweds as well as a good reminder for long-marrieds, Joanna!

  5. Tom Zoltner

    Great Ava. Agape love comes to mind. True Christian love.

  6. Ava Pennington

    Absolutely, Tom!

  7. Melissa Henderson

    His love is amazing! To know I am loved by God gives me peace and comfort.

  8. Julie

    Such a great post! Thank you!

  9. Candice Brown

    Timely! I’m marrying my best friend this summer and would add that friendship lingers long after excitement and charm have faded. It’s a later in life romance and he sometimes calls himself boring but what he calls boring is exactly what I’m looking for: steady, reliable, and full of God’s peace. I did it the world’s way the first time; am thrilled to be marrying a man who loves Jesus and encourages me in my walking with him.

  10. Ava Pennington

    Congratulations, Candice!

  11. Anne Mackie Morelli

    I agree with your comments that love is about a daily decision, it is about walking through suffering together, embracing the highs and lows, investing time and energy to work out the problems and conflicts. Love is not just something that happens, it is something that needs to be cultivated, attended to, watered so a harvest can be produced.

  12. Jessica Brodie

    I absolutely love that you note love is an intentional decision. It really is! It doesn’t happen by accident. And it is FAR more than merely romantic.

  13. Yvonne Morgan

    Great reminder of His love for us.

  14. Karen Friday

    All great points about love, Ava. I particularly liked how you said love is seen as well as heard.

  15. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Karen.

  16. Kristi Ann

    Thanks so much for sharing Ava!!

    Love Always, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

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