What is Love Anyway?
I set out to dissect a concept that can be defined with simplicity or prove to be as complicated as an elaborate set of books that span several genres. Fiction and nonfiction cover this subject. An element of this slippery figment threads through most movies, television series, and is arguably a central element of the human experience.
Stop here and ponder what love means to you. Your thoughts may dart to your partner or family, then friends. If so, you have valuable connections that nurture your body and soul.
For so many incredible reasons, we were designed for and have thrived from a steady diet of this thing called love. An official definition for me comes from a straight-up description of what love is AND what it isn’t.
1 Corinthians 13: 4 through the beginning of 8 (NIV) says: “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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I don’t know about you, but as I review my experiences, I can see that I have fallen short over and over. How many times have I become angry with a loved one – all too easily? How can hurts and disappointments be erased? And my biggest question includes that last part. Does love ever fail?
My feeble attempt to answer these questions leads me to admit that the above verses describe the ideal love relationship and it most closely resembles an exceptional parent. Our heavenly father, in fact, would be the supreme model for love. I dare say anyone can meet all those conditions at all times here on our planet. Yet I am fortunate enough to have loved and felt love in my heart for so many precious souls trying to navigate life.
Do you count yourself fortunate enough to have been loved and be able to extend love to others, even if that love has escaped you in some way?
As we move through the season of celebrating love, I encourage you to look forward and soak in that gift of love shared between your special connections. Weathering the storms of life with those we feel close attachments to give us protection from stress, anxiety, loneliness, pain, and fear. Studies reveal that having one person in your life who is unconditionally there emotionally and physically for you is critical for our healthiest potential to be realized.
We are also instructed in scripture to love one another and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I wonder if demonstrating love toward others (even those we aren’t crazy about) would result in a greater degree of our opportunity to receive love.
Just as Saint Valentine supposedly declared his love for his sweetheart that now translates to big sales in greeting cards and chocolate (no problem there), it only enriches our own livelihood to express that warm affection, sizzling attraction, or comradery for our attachments today. So, go ahead and thank the good Lord above for a fantastic model, His love bestowed on us, and the blessing of feeling love every day here on Earth. Expressions of love boost our mood, energy, and spirit.
Happy Valentine’s Day!