The Bible is full of teaching on love and marriage.
But we know love can sometimes be complicated.
God knows and understands this, which is why he speaks about love’s many responsibilities, kinds, and benefits.
Here, we are going to investigate Bible verses about love, where it comes from, how it blesses us, and Bible verses about marriage.
Bible verses about love
1. The nature of love
Love can take many shapes.
The theologian C. S. Lewis proposed there were four distinct kinds of love—familial, friendly, romantic, and unconditional (godly) love.
The Bible speaks to what love is in its multiple forms and the role it plays in the unfolding mission of the church in the world.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
2. God’s love
God sets the standard for what love ought to be.
As humans, we often fall short of this standard.
However, that does not disqualify us from receiving the love of God.
In fact, the love of God is at the heart of Scripture, and better understanding it will serve as a light that illuminates not only love, but every other topic found in the Bible.
“Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” (Psalm 31:16)
“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:5)
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:13)
“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:4)
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:13)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26)
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35)
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
“However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:12)
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)
“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
3. The blessing of love
Love is not merely a sacrifice—it is a blessing.
When we understand that both giving and receiving love can be a blessing to us, we become more equipped to embrace love as a relational disposition, rather than the occasional exception that finds its way into our relationships—divine, friendly, romantic, or otherwise.
“Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord; may your love and faithfulness always protect me.” (Psalm 40:11)
“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.” (Psalm 44:3)
“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2)
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)
“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” (Proverbs 21:21)
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6)
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:16-18)
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” (Colossians 2:2)
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude 1:2)
4. The command to love
Love is not merely an important and blessed concept—it is a command.
In the New Testament books, Jesus believed love summed up the entire law of God—to love God above all things and to love one's neighbor as oneself.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
“‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)
“If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:24)
“Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:14)
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
5. The absence of love
Love is not merely a positive force.
Its absence often curdles into a vacuous space in which evil lurks, breeds, and grows.
One of the reasons love is so important is the human devastation that often occurs in the wake of the absence of love.
Scripture is not silent about this.
Here’s what it has to say:
“Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:17-18)
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12)
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20)
“For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3:10-11)
6. Marital love
Of course, the Bible speaks to C. S. Lewis’s concept of romantic love as well.
The Bible traverses all aspects of marital love—from sexual to structural.
While the verses below represent only a sampling of Bible verses about marriage, one would do well to read, for example, the entire Song of Solomon for a glimpse into what godly love looks like in real life.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” (Ephesians 5:25-26)
“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace." (Song of Solomon 4:9)
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” (Song of Solomon 8:6)
Over to you
Use these Bible verses about love and marriage to enrich your understanding of God’s love, to deepen your understanding of the nature of love, and to become better equipped to receive the love of God in order to love your neighbor as yourself.
Meditate on these passages about love in Scripture in order to become a more loving person, to more quickly receive and offer the loving forgiveness that we have in Christ, and to more deeply comprehend God’s love toward you in his Son.\
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