I Am Love For You

By Monique Chantal Duson

The South African words “I love you” are translated Ek is lief vir jou. Literally, “I am love for you.” This translation reminds me that love is not just something I feel, but a way of being. It is who I am for someone else.

Love is revealed in actions, words, and character. Love pulls us beyond what we may be feel and propels to walk in a particular direction. The biblical definition of love comes from 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, kind, keeping no record of wrongs, not boastful, envious or proud. It is also my commitment not to dis-honor or self-seek, but to delight in truth, trust, hope, persevere, and protect.

Scripture invites us to radically love others, the way Christ radically loves us in giving His life for us. Love is more than offering good words of “God bless you” to the marginalized. It demands that I step into uncomfortable spaces with others who may not look, think, talk, or act like me and that I choose to be the blessing needed in that moment. This means that I must act in ways that are kind and believe the best about those who differ from me politically, racially and culturally.

Recently I have been in a season where people who were virtual strangers have “become love” for me. In June, I was forced to unexpectedly transition home from the mission field. A very hard situation, however, was made much easier because a family extended kindness to me. They gave me a home and adopted me as family. On the outside, we are separated by cultural, political and racial differences. These potential barriers dissolved because these people “became” Christ’s love for me.

When was the last time you told someone, “I love you,” not in your words, but in your actions? When was the last time that you became love for someone else?

Love is not just a word or concept, but real love demands action and movement. When we see love in action, we witness the nature of Christ and when we live in love we participate in His character. Are we unwilling to go the extra distance to love because it may seem counter to our cultural narrative?