The Biblical Definition of Love


Love is a powerful emotion that makes our hearts pound and palms sweat. It is a common experience and a central theme in many stories and songs. Biological models of love view it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Psychological views of love include companionate love, passion, and commitment. Love can also have religious and spiritual meaning.

Biologically, falling in love involves a release of a jumble of chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. This explains why your cheeks might feel flushed, and your heart and stomach race when you meet someone you like for the first time. Once this initial stage of attraction fades, the brain’s reward centers become activated by oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” which leads to feelings of closeness and long-term commitment.

This is the stage that most people consider to be true love. It can be a wonderful feeling and the basis of many happy relationships, but it can also be difficult to sustain. In some cases, this stage is followed by a relapse and the withdrawal of oxytocin that results in feelings of distress or rejection.

The biblical definition of love is a selfless, sacrificial commitment to the well-being of others. This is best exemplified by Jesus’s life, teachings, and ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of all humankind.