Recently, while thinking about divine Love, I read these words from First John: “We love him, because he first loved us” (4:19). I wondered, Is the reason I love God really that He first loved me? It seemed so binary and limited on the surface. But as I paid closer attention, I saw that because God’s love is the first and only love we know, we do indeed take our cues as to how to love from Love itself.
The simple idea that God loves us first invites us to think about love on something well beyond an intellectual level. And the more we understand the nature of God’s love, the more we experience divine Love all around us. “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us,” First John further explains. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (4:16, 17).
We take our cues as to how to love from Love itself.