Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
You may have heard that phrase before or recently seen flags with this slogan.
On the one hand its meaning is ambiguous because normally a definition goes along the lines of “A cat is a small four legged house pet.” A definition by nature defines something.
Regardless of the ambiguity in this case the meaning is clear. ‘Love is love’ is put forward to mean that any emotional attachment we might feel toward someone (or something) regardless of who (or what) that is, is justified merely on the basis of the emotion being displayed. It doesn’t matter who or what you love because ‘love’ trumps all values.
Imprecision in definition is a practice open to abuse.
In 1971 Oxford defined love as “that disposition or state of feeling with regard to a person which manifests itself in solicitude for the welfre of the object, and usually also delight in his presence and desire for his approval; warm affection, attachment.” Aside from neglecting to note love as a verb and not a noun (an action and not a thing) at least 1971 Oxford has a meaty definition.
Today Mr. Oxford defines love as “a very strong feeling of liking and caring for somebody/something [sometimes romantic].”
The best definition I’ve ever encountered for love (Greek, agape) means to prefer, to prefer someone or something more than yourself, to prefer what God has said, and to show this through one’s actions. This is the definition we find in 1 Jn 5:3a:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
By definition then, to love means to prefer what God has said (the truth) and do it. If we prefer anything and do anything other than what He has said it cannot be love but is sin; and we humans love to sin. Thankfully God preferred us so as to send His Son to rescue us from sin (Jn 3:16) so we might live a life of true love, love for God and others as defined by Him, the author of reality.
Because words have meaning and meaning conveys truth and truth never changes (Heb 13:8; 1 Pet 1:25) it actually does turn out that ‘love is love’ after all but not in the way many think.
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