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By Jesse Utz 

Love: what does it look like?


When we were growing up we correlated love with a valentine or a girlfriend or boyfriend. The nervousness, anxiety and excitement that came with receiving or getting a little Scooby Doo card with red hearts on it or hand written note saying “mark the box, yes or no” were the feelings that welled up within a young boy feeling out his way in this world. Of course, there was the feeling of family love, but when you were young that was not even a concept of love on the bigger scale. Yes, we told Mom and Dad we loved them, but we were too immature in the love category to truly know what that meant.

As we grew into our teens, love became a new monster. Especially when we got our heart broken. Those same feelings were there, but it was on an extreme level. For some, an unbearable level. But a change was lying ahead of us. As we grew up, marriage, children and tight-knit relationships changed our actual perception of love. Ask any parent and they will tell you they did not know real love until they experienced their own child, small, defenseless and relying on the care of their parents for everything.

That brings me to what love does look like. It can look different for every person in today’s world. We hear superstars on huge stages say they just love the feeling of hearing thousands of fans screaming their name. We hear CEOs of giant companies say they love the feeling of power as they walk into a room. We hear addicts saying they love the feeling of being high, and we hear from the sports arena, athletes saying they love the thrill of defeating an opponent. We are bombarded daily with the word love and pushed to love food, music, TV, movies and sports teams, but where do we see love that truly impacts us all. One thing we all can relate to that brings us the real love.

By know you already know where I am going. But I am going to approach it differently. Let’s say there is a father, the best father in the whole universe and beyond. Let’s say he has a son, his only son. Let’s say he is so close to that son that they are almost one, a bond so tight. They adore each other, even need each other. But then the father, knowing it is the only way to save the entire world, must sacrifice his son. He does it, even though he has the power to stop it. He does it. Why? Well, out of love.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. God sacrificed his love of his Son for the love of us. They say there is no love like sacrificing yourself for another. Jesus did that. So that we may also be loved, like he was loved by his Father. We become sons and daughters of the King when we accept what Jesus did for us. In turn, we receive the ultimate love. So, how do we take that love and change the way the world sees it? How do we share it, because we are supposed to share that love.

We care for each other, plain and simple. We help them when they need help. We save them when they need to be saved. We speak life into them when they need it most. We sacrifice when it is required. If we can all have a heart like out Father in heaven has, then the world changes. It is a one-person-at-a-time scenario. If I start loving like He did and I love my neighbor that way, then soon my neighbor starts loving people in the same fashion. Soon communities are changed, then regions, then states, then nations and then the world. No pressure really, it starts with you. One loving conversation at a time, one loving act of kindness can change people’s hearts. Open them up to His Glory. And yes, it can be hard, like a Father sacrificing His Son, it can be difficult. But all things are possible. I challenge you all to love someone today. Not out of commitment, but because we are called to love each other. That is what love should look like. I’m just saying.

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