The above is a quote from a Novel that takes place during World War II. It is hardly as good a book as this is a quote. It is spoken by a character in the book known as Dr. Iannis. He a meager philosopher and ever worse theologian, but his quote here speaks wonders to the truth of exactly what Love is.
Today love is used to express a fascination for everything from pickles, to a husband, to Sexual intercourse (ie making love). It would be unfair to limit this truth to simply our country, language, or even era. Greek Poetry from the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries BC failed to categorize the usage of the words (they had 4 words...debatebly more) for love with any firm boundaries that made clear when and where each term for love was to be used. They are not the only ones either, in truth the human expression regardless of time period is prone to speak in a superfluous manner (we are humans and we exaggerate). Even the bible fails to truly separate quite as concretely as we would like, and sometimes the Apostles use one word for God and love and sometime another. (Point being the idea that 'agape' is a word that is reserved for God's love for us, or our love for him, and that alone is well... not biblical.)
But i think nonetheless it is necessary that we explain and define love; and allow the boundaries that we can establish distinguish it from the 'false loves' that so many things that are better to be known as 'patior' or the greek word for 'passion'. (I think it is better to address what 'love' is, rather than spend an infinite amount of time addressing the limitless things it is not).
Love is a transcendent expression and faculty, it is in some ways unexplainable, but in every way undeniable. It is the sole force within the universe that history affirms has been present in every civilized state on record. It is the driving force behind a million actions that do not always service the individual good and ease of him who is performing the verbal action in their 'loving' of another. It is the most pure form of goodness, and beauty in all the universe. It contains within it both the power to create and destroy. It is unlike anything else in all the world. It turns night to day, winter to spring, dark to light, tedious labor to effortless service, burden to blessing, slavery to liberty, pain to pleasure, it is the driving force of ALL there is.
It is not sex, it is not passion, it is, what Dr. Iannis said rightly, 'would be left if all else could burn away', it is not mercy though this is certainly Love child. Love is patient, it is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it does not delight in evil but rejoices when right it done to all. It always protects even at the price of its own life, always believe even when things look hopeless, always hopes for Peace and goodness, always perseveres even the fiercest storm.
GODisLOVE : He is the Truest and most sincere expression of Love we have. On our souls we have imprinted an ability to love. But True love is not found in the Ancient Aphrodite. If you remember Greek mythology, she was the greek goddess of love and Romance. At her height the goddess (or perhaps the demon) 'aphrodite' demands full obedience from her worshippers. But this demand is a hollow one, and though in this so called 'love' she demands her worshipper to sacrifice their all for their 'lover' (husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend). This is a futile demand and is really but an imprint within in crying out that we were meant to love something with all we are. In a way that Science could never explain by observation, and words could hardly capture in writing. Romance is by no means wrong, it is beautiful and created by and for God. But Erotica is not Love, Eros is not Agape, and Aphrodite is not Immanuel.
We have only but a taste of how vast his love is, God is LOVE. Aphrodite is a whore, and her demands from a broken world to be infatuated with one another and to look at Sex and rather than their Savior,will soon be repaid with eternal and indescribable punishment. All we need is LOVE