There’s no doubt about it, parents hold a whole lot of love in their hearts for their children. The fierce protectiveness of a parent for their young child is an expression of love. The hours of sacrifice spent on raising capable, respectable, and successful adults is an expression of love. But should a parent’s love for their children have bounds? Some might say “no.” God says “yes.” The bounds He places on love do not really limit love, but they do keep out everything that isn’t real love.
The first time love is mentioned in the Bible is a great example of the bounds of love. In Genesis 22:2 God told Abraham “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Parents certainly love their children and Isaac was Abraham’s only child. On top of that, God had told Abraham that from Isaac’s descendants, the Savior of the world would be born. Abraham loved Isaac. God, though, wanted to put a boundary on Abraham’s love of Isaac. If Abraham loved Isaac more than God, then Abraham’s love went past the proper boundary and became idolatry instead of love. God taught Abraham this important lesson and did not have Abraham kill Isaac on the altar, but provided a substitute ram instead.
Do you know if your different loves have gone past the proper boundaries as set by God? The simple way to answer this is to find any love that causes you to disobey God’s laws. For God’s laws are given to us in love as 1 John 4:8 tells us “God is love.” Does your love of one particular friend or family member cause you to make a habit of playing favorites? Does your love of relaxation, recreation or entertainment cause you to make a habit of skipping church? Does your love of justice and fairness cause you to make a habit of forgetting forgiveness? If these or other loves in your life go beyond the bounds of godly love, fear not. For your God has provided a substitute for you just as He provided a substitute for Isaac, but with far greater ramifications. Your substitute didn’t save you from an earthly death on a Mountain in Moriah. He saved you from an eternal death and delivered unto you the forgiveness of your sins and the righteousness of God almighty Himself. Living in His righteousness you will experience the perfect love of God as you meet with Him face to face in eternity.
So, to answer the title of this devotion, “No, because real love does know bounds as set by God.” Love is not real love if it contradicts the word of our God who is love.