Posted in love, theology

‘Put on’ love

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m old enough now that the songs played on the radio’s Oldies station are the songs of my youth and teen years. The Supremes’ 1964 song “Baby, baby where did our love go” is catchy. It was on the radio the other day. It got me thinking in pictures. As in, ‘love’ going somewhere. Did it pack its suitcase and slink out the back door like a thief? Did it wilt then droop then evaporate, like the steam on the bathroom mirror?

The secular world sees love as a noun. Especially romantic love. They see it as a thing to be grasped. Something to be possessed. They see love as a thing that comes, then goes. That would mean that love has a mind of its own, will, volition.

The Christian knows that love is not a noun to hold but a choice to be made. Love is a verb. We choose it and we live it. Colossians 3:14 announces love as something we “put on”, indicating again that love is an act of our own volition. We are in charge of love, it is not in charge of us nor is it in charge of itself.

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Colossians 3:14).

Matthew Henry explains the Colossians verse-

In order to all this, we are exhorted here to several things:—1. To clothe ourselves with love (v. 14): Above all things put on charity: epi pasi de toutois—over all things. Let this be the upper garment, the robe, the livery, the mark of our dignity and distinction. Or, Let this be principal and chief, as the whole sum and abstract of the second table. Add to faith virtue, and to brotherly-kindness charity, 2 Pt. 1:5–7. He lays the foundation in faith, and the top-stone in charity, which is the bond of perfectness, the cement and centre of all happy society. Christian unity consists of unanimity and mutual love.

Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2335). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Warren Wiersbe explains-

Put on … love (Col. 3:14). This is the most important of the Christian virtues, and it acts like a “girdle” that ties all the other virtues together. This is not something that we turn on and off, like the TV set. It is a constant attitude of heart that makes us easy to live with.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 138). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Baby, baby, where did our love go? It didn’t go anywhere,t he person loving another simply got tired of choosing it.

Choosing to love is the hardest thing in the world, especially if you’re married. Making the choice to “put on” love toward someone who isn’t acting right, or who wronged you, or is just being a pill, is not easy. But love is the binding that holds the Body together and it is the quality that makes Christ attractive to the pagan. It is supreme.

Don’t be a bystander watching love come in and go out. Put it on, choose it, live it.

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Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

2 thoughts on “‘Put on’ love

  1. Thanks for this sweet reminder Elizabeth! I’m assuming you’re feeling much better this week. Know that I pray for you sister!

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    1. Thank you for the prayers Heidi! I appreciate them so much. Yesterday and today I feel more like myself than I have felt in all of May. My lungs don’t feel like bags of cement and I don’t hear any rattle. I havne’t coughed in a while! Thank you for prayers. The Lord is kind to heal me through them.


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