LOVE…such a BIG word, though very easily misused and sometimes misunderstood.
We live in a world where people ‘fall in’ and ‘out of love’ all the time. People cheat, have too many choices and are confused about what they really want. I have however, also seen examples of some fantastic marriages and relationships, where you can really sense that deep intimate connection. In fact, I am surrounded by them. When I was younger (my very early 2o’s), I said ‘I love you’ a few times and I guess at that time, with that person, I thought I did. The funny thing with love is, it’s nothing like I knew it back then. As an adult, apart from my family and friends, I have not said ‘I love you’ in that special way to a special someone because it definitely carries more weight now (and also the fact I haven’t met that special someone, or at least not that i’m aware of!)
Anyway, I thought there was no real definition of love, until I read this in the Bible:
4 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.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Now that is something quite big to digest, right? It seems so big, but actually it’s not as hard as it sounds to implement if we just consciously try, and I wonder how many of us are conscious about the way we act. By this I mean, really thinking about you as a person. Are you aware of how you treat others? Are you aware of the way you to react and interact to and with other people?
Though ‘Love’ as it is stated above is not just about our ‘romantic’ relationships, but our relationships with God, one another as human beings, as well as with ourselves. I have experienced love in a very deep sense, understood the real meaning and have known this from my Father in Heaven. I have felt unconditional love, joy, forgiveness and compassion, something which we as people can fail to do because of our worldly expectations, ideologies and pride.
Love is bold, it’s risk taking and its understanding. Many of my close friends have said ‘You are too nice’. I allow people to say things and do things without any consequences (most of the time). I’m far from perfect, but I have learned over the years and still am, that not everything needs or has an answer, and not every person who hurts you, needs a reaction. Responding with love, is far more powerful than trying to be the person who has the last word. It takes a mature person, a person of depth, to understand why people are the way they are. it doesn’t mean we accept their behaviour, but we accept that we all make mistakes and we all deserve to be loved, regardless of ones insecurities, selfishness or mistakes. It’s when we confine people that they become more rebellious. Jesus forgave murderers, thieves etc so that they too, may see the light of God – anyone and everyone can be forgiven with the light of the world. That’s the beauty of love – real unconditional love.
I mentioned above about self-love. I think most of us have struggled with this at some point, if not all of our lives. In my very first relationship, I was verbally, mentally, physically and emotionally abused. The things said to me, left a mark. ‘You are a skinny desert rat among a lot of other horrible things, which I won’t go into. My physical being was attacked, which led to me losing my self-confidence and losing my spark. It’s taken me years to believe in myself again and in many ways, I am still learning to love and accept myself but to also realise that I am made uniquely in Gods image. There is no other person out there like me or you – how amazing is that thought?!
A message for everyone really – especially the younger ones. I want a love that is so deeply intertwined with my love and at the center of that woven intertwining ball, I want both our hearts to be attached to God. So that love is always constantly flowing in all we do.
Out of fear we settle (sometimes), but love does not settle for second best, it waits for Gods best, because he only wants the best for us. As I keep being told ‘be patient’ (yes it is hard to do) though in the mean time fill your life with Gods joy and adventures.
Love each other, forgive mistakes because we all fall short of Gods glory, some people will have done worse than others – so help them to better themselves, assuming they want to be helped. The relationship I mentioned above? I saw this person after almost a decade and you know the first thing I did? I gave him a hug and said ‘how are you?’ Forgiveness not only frees us, but it allows love to flow freely. I am a work in progress – the key thing is I have started and that’s all that matters.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 1:34-35