Daily Post 6
What does love mean to you? We talk about love all the time, but rarely do we sit down and think about what it is, and how our behavior helps us get more or less of the kind of love we desire.
How does platonic love differ from romantic love? How does the love we get from a parent differ from the love we get from a friend? Or a dog? Is love a feeling or a set of behaviors?
What a large question. Love is what makes living worthwhile. It’s what is actually important in life, and what drives us to pursue other important ideas, people, and elements. Love is what keeps a person in your life, even if you live hundreds or thousands of miles away. It is what allows you to remember good times even when things are tough, and to make people a priority, even when there may be more pressing demands on your time. Love isn’t limited to relationships with people, as we say we “love” so many things, but I think the love we have for people should be stronger than that which we have for others.
Love is both a feeling and a set of behaviors, but it is the behaviors that actually matter. A woman can love a man, cheat on him emotionally or physically, and still come home to him at the end of the day with love in her heart. However, is that love as pure as it would have been if she did not cheat on him? I don’t think so. I hold firmly to the description of love in 1 Cor 13: 4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
I’ve reflected on this so many times in my life. It was quoted in A Walk to Remember. It’s often stated at weddings, but these words are truly powerful. I see how many places I fall short in my love for friends, family, and the strangers I encounter in my daily life. I am challenged. If I am loving others the way I ought, I should be patient and kind, not hold grudges, keep hoping that things will be good, and persevere through periods of difficulty. The love that we give one another as people is so much more difficult than that of animals or inanimate objects. For this love, we will be hurt, and we will have to consciously decide to keep loving. With “lesser” beings, we need less of a give and take relationship; often we are more content to simply give to these other relationships. With people, you’ve got to be vulnerable for depth, for things to be truly rewarding.
But you know, it really all does come down to love. When I lose sight of that, life loses its color, and I am lost. I aspire to continue growing in my ability to love others, and though I’m on the right track, there’s lots of room for growth yet. However, I am happy to keep taking these steps, knowing that they are unlocking riches that I likely will not ever understand.