What do I expect out of love?
- An intensity of emotion. It's something I may not be able to quantify, but whether it's a movie that I'm watching, a piece of chocolate that I'm eating, or a date with my wife, I expect to experience a degree of emotional intensity.
- If I'm directing love toward someone else, I expect to see some degree of joy in that person.
- I expect to experience a sense of connectedness with someone else. Whether it's a project or helping someone in need, or working with my family--the idea that we share something in common is something I expect.
- I don't like to admit it, but sometimes I expect something in return.
When love is expounded upon in Matthew 22 and Leviticus 19, the expectation of love is not related to how I feel, but by who God is. Therefore love that is referenced here is not rooted in a particular emotion, but a by recognition of God's action. How that relates to our neighbor love is a reflection of God's action in the world. A principle part of God's creation is humankind created in God's image. That is the challenge of love, when I expect emotion, God expects that we act toward our neighbor with the understanding that the other person is created in God's image.