Love is such an interesting concept to me because it seems like everybody talks about it, but so many people don’t even know what they think it really means. I have basically given up on finding love in the way our culture describes it these days. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I think love is, but this is where I am currently:
The idea that love is a feeling that can just come and go whenever just doesn’t make sense to me. Instead, I believe that love is a decision. It doesn’t just happen. I don’t believe in “falling in love.” People throw around the word love when they really like somebody, but where do you draw the line? What is the difference between when you really liked that person to now that you think you love them? Is it a feeling? I used to think so to an extent, but it can’t be, right?
Love is a choice, an action, a sacrifice, how you treat people, caring about them even when you don’t like them. That is the biggest difference between what love actually is and the way people use it. People say after a breakup that they “just didn’t love each other anymore,” or that they “fell out of love.” If that is what love is all about then why on earth do so many people wanna fall in love? True love is not an easy thing. That is why so many marriages fail and why so many people hurt each other. They would rather believe that love is a feeling that can come and go than to accept the responsibility that they just are giving up because they are bored or tired of the circumstances they are in. Real love takes courage and dedication.
As crazy as it sounds that we don’t have enough words in the English language, I actually think there needs to be a few more to better express this one word. Somebody could say that they love pizza and that they love Jesus in the same breath. How can that be? I think the love that people think they experience in dating relationships is more often than not just infatuation.
True love is when you make sacrifices without being asked. It is when you do the little things not because you will get something out of it but because you truly want to make the other person happy and are willing to think of them before yourself.
True love is not just something you can turn on and off. I think you can only truly love a person if you love others as well. That is a way you can tell how much someone will be able to love, by how they treat others. Because how would you know how to love unless you had been practicing? And more importantly, how are you going to know how to love when it gets hard if you haven’t been loving even when it’s easy?
1 Corinthians 13 says it more perfectly than anything:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.” If you think you have loved before, which most people probably would, think about that compared to these attributes... How well do you match up? This sort of love does not sound like a feeling to me. It doesn’t sound like something that comes and goes. This sounds so much more real to me. And best of all, it seems like something that will actually last... what a great concept!