What words would you use to describe perfect love? What person do you know that might embody such love? I think most of us would admit that perfection is impossible to achieve. Human beings just aren't capable of doing something exactly perfectly every time. So perfect love is impossible then, right?
Yes. And no. There was one man who embodied perfect love and His name is Jesus. The Bible also tells us that God Himself is love. The Old Testament describes God as having steadfast love for people. And the whole reason Jesus came to earth, lived the life He did, and died the death of a criminal (for crimes he did not commit) was because of love for human beings.
The apostle John tells us that anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love. In other places we are told that we love Him because He loved us first. God shows us, teaches us, how to love because Love is who He is.
It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. (TLB)
For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). (AMP)
There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (TLB)
I quoted these out of order, but they are from the same chapter (1 Corinthians 13) and you get the idea. Right now we can't imagine perfection in it's completeness nor can we express love as perfectly as God does. But Jesus did that for us and He is still loving us as no one on earth can or ever will love us. He loves us with an everlasting love. Only HIS love never fails.
Perfect love also casts out fear. When we know at an experiential level that God truly loves us no matter what, that He will never abandon us, that He wants only what is best for us, then we have no need to fear the future or the present or be held captive by the past. (The fear in the above verse means to hold God in reverence--to recognize that He is holy and worthy of worship.) Jesus came to put us at peace with God so that we can rest in perfect love.
I hope you know that love, not only on this Valentine's Day, but always.