settings icon
share icon

Does the Bible teach that love is love?

love is love

The phrase love is love may seem self-explanatory. Obviously, love is love; what else would it be? However, the phrase, as commonly used today, implies a largely unbiblical meaning.

“Love is love” is most often heard from members and activists of the LGBTQ+ community. One participant in the 2016 Love & Equality Rally in New York said, “To me, ‘love is love’ means that my friends and family and anyone who might love someone is able to love them, freely and willingly. No one is telling them that that's not okay” (, accessed 2/3/2023). Essentially, those who use the phrase love is love are making the point that all that is called “love” is equally valid and valuable, no matter the object or the way it is expressed. All people should be allowed to “love” (often equated with “have sex with”) whomever they want, however they want, and whenever they want. As long as someone is feeling valued, experiencing happiness, and finding sexual satisfaction, it doesn’t matter if the relationship is gay or straight or bi, couple or throuple, or anything else. “Love is love.”

But “love is love” is not what the Bible says about love. As C. S. Lewis points out in The Four Loves, there are various types of love expressed in four Greek words throughout the New Testament. These are affection (storge), friendship (philia), romance (eros), and charity (agape) (, accessed 2/3/2023). Each of these loves is distinct and applied differently; you do not love your favorite food in the same way you love your best friend, and you don’t love a pet in the same way you love your spouse. God’s love for us, agape, is the purest, most unconditional form of love. Therefore, one love is not necessarily equal to another love.

Further, the type of love implied by love is love twists the biblical teaching. The slogan is often accompanied by assertions that people can’t help whom they fall in love with, so they should not be judged or shamed for it; love is only natural. The very wording “falling in love” highlights the perceived involuntary nature of love. That view of love is not real love at all but infatuation: hormone-induced sensations and butterfly-filled rushes of emotion. It may be true that infatuation can occur unexpectedly and unintentionally, but the feelings involved are generally self-serving.

The true love of the Bible is not merely emotional. It is a daily choice and a series of selfless actions. First Corinthians 13 lists qualities of love, and nothing on the list—patience, kindness, perseverance, etc.—happens without conscious effort. Biblical love is work and is not always accompanied by the gooey sweetness many people associate with love. Jesus certainly didn’t experience happy, fuzzy feelings as He carried out the ultimate display of love on the cross (Romans 5:8).

Additionally, 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love,” so using the phrase love is love removes God from the equation entirely, replacing Him with “love.” Verse 19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Therefore, God is the source and model of real love; He is the only reason we even know what love is. Taking Him out of the picture leads to people serving and living for what they call love rather than for God and His real love. Chasing an emotional rush and viewing that as the highest good and goal of existence has led to record-high divorce rates, LGBTQ+ relationships, hookup culture, and much more. Replacing God with an idol of self-defined love pulls people down a slippery slope as well, opening doors for them to pursue any manner of sin and debauchery so long as the individuals involved are “in love.” If “love is love,” then should we embrace “love” that derives sexual satisfaction from children, animals, or inanimate objects?

Again and again, Christians are called to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31; James 2:8). This means loving one another with the intentional, self-sacrificial love of the Bible—a love originating in and defined by the character of God Himself—not the shallow, self-serving, twisted love of the “love is love” mentality.

Return to:

Questions about Worldview

Does the Bible teach that love is love?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: February 16, 2023