This is the biggest question that faces teens, couples, families, and between friends. Some people talk about it with the “5 languages“. Some say there are just these and some say there are more. I would say that these are a good starting place on how to express love, but what is love?
The Bible lists a bunch of verbs and adjectives that love is and is not, which can be found here. That is not the most useful definition. A more useful definition is where Jesus says that his disciples will be known by their love, and that the greatest love is for one to lay down their life for another. The ultimate example of this is Jesus’s life. He lived in order to die. So how did Jesus love?
My view is that Love is understanding people. This is an odd concept but let me explain. Look at John 4 and Jesus’s conversation with the Samaritan Women. Does Jesus love this women? I would say yes, because he is breaking EVERY cultural taboo in order to have this conversation, and the end of this conversation leads the women to restoration. Why else would someone do this? Now how does Jesus love? I would argue that he loves by knowing the women. He knows who she is and what she has done and addresses the core hurts.
Another example would be marriage. What do people get in marriage? A covenant that the relationship will not end, allowing a safe guard for the most intimate connections to be formed. And these connections are what? Knowing each other. What person knows you, sometime even better then yourself, better then your souse? OK your parents are close, but only if a relationship is new.
Now that I think I know what Love is, what do we do with this information? A big word/idea at my school is community. What is community? This is a question for another post, but I would say that communal living is the response to love. Live with people, get to know them, and love them. What else would humans do? Look at many crimes, suicides, hurts and other evils. They are often by people who are left out; done against people who are not understood. Now I know its ideal to just say “All our problems will just go away if we love each other.” I believe that, but also I believe that we tried that (the hippies) and that we are incapable of that amount of love. So I would say the response should be to truly love the people around you, and begin to start to know them, their stories, their culture, and the people they love.
P.S. Also community can help you get through anything. As I have personally experienced the last couple of weeks.