“What is love?” This is a question that has been asked by every generation. It’s mystery, effect and impact have been expressed for centuries through letters, pictures, songs, poems, plays, dramas and more.
The word “love” is used loosely to describe various levels of attachment to people and things. The common examples given to demonstrate this are along the lines of, “I love my car”, as compared to “I love my kids”. Surely the love for a car is not on the same par as the love for one’s own children. This simple example reveals the fact that we place different levels of value to what we mean when we use the word “love”. One word that has different meanings and definitions.
When we say “I love you” to the person we say we care most about, what are we really expressing? What are you trying to convey when you say “I love you”?
In relationships, the value we place on the word “love” is in direct proportion to how much we are willing to sacrifice and give of ourselves because of love. In other words, the highest form of love is selfless, sacrificial love. This kind of love is not based on what a person can do for you in meeting your needs. It is not based on conditions placed in a relationship in order to receive that love. It is unconditional. The ultimate love is one of “choice”. I choose to love. When it hurts. When I don’t get anything back. When it seems to come at too high a personal cost, I love.
This is the type of love that is expressed in the wedding vows that are spoken. Read with me and tell me if you see it:
“…will you live together in holy covenant of marriage? Will you love (her/him), comfort (her/him), honor and keep (her/him), in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be faithful (to her/him) so long as you both shall live?”
Selfless, sacrificial love will look to be faithful. Will be there in sickness and in health. This kind of love will forsake all others. Will honor, uphold, encourage, respect and lift up. True love gives. It is by choice.
This kind of love is there when called upon. In those times of crisis. And, in those challenging moments in life. It is there on those days we don’t “feel the love”. When passions have turned to embers. It calls us to forgive and seek forgiveness. To apologize even when we were not in the wrong. To mend, seek to restore, encourage, give hope and strength.
We love someone because of how they make us feel about ourselves. How they inspire us and make us better when we are with them. We feel safe to be ourselves and love makes us desire to give back to them. Feelings are only a part of “being in love”. It is what love produces in a good relationship that keeps us together. Love is inspirational, spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical. And since love exists on all these levels, we must continue to cultivate and feed these levels of love in our marriage and personal relationships.
Still, compassionate love, romance, and friendship play an equally important role in developing, growing and maintaining a healthy relationship. We are, after all, people with emotions and feelings. Not only do we want to tell someone we love them, but we also want, and should, show them we love them by backing it up with action. Often this happens naturally without thought. Especially in a new relationship when the fires of passion are still hot. Other times, we purpose to do so. We find the time. We make time.
So how do we do that? How can we preserve our relationships? How can we keep love alive?
This will be the focus of this blog site. The topic of love is simply too big and too deep to cover in just this one blog. Come join us on this journey as we take on a different topic at least once a month as it relates to love, marriage and relationships.
Until next time, we wish you LOVE, JOY & PEACE!