Today is Valentine’s Day, a day on the greeting card calendar for celebrating romantic (or what the Greeks called eros) love. We’d like to twist this day a bit (though there’s nothing wrong with hearts, flowers, and chocolate) and turn our eyes heavenward to the One who offers a different, perfect kind of love.
Here are 14 Bible verses about love—not just any love, but God’s sacrificial, immeasurable, pure, and unconditional agape love for us.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 3:1
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 4:9–10
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:16
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Learn more about the theology of God’s love in R. C. Sproul’s book God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children or in the D. A. Carson Love of God Collection (3 vols.)