Friday, July 17, 2009

What is Love?

Love. We sing about it, we talk about it, we dream about it, we use the word daily in many ways regarding anything we have affection for..."I love coffee, chocolate, my dog, those shoes, that movie, etc.

Love has the power to make our hearts flutter and dance as well as hurt and shrivel...When I fell in love with my husband, it was fluttering, when I lost my brother it was shriveling.

But what is Love, really?

DC Talk sings, "Love is a Verb"
Aretha Franklin sings, "What's Love got to do with it?"
The Beatles sing, "Love is all you Need".
Third Day sings, "Love Heals Your Heart".
The Jonas Brothers sing, "Love is on It's Way".
Pat Benetar sings, "Love is a Battlefield".
John Paul Young sings, "Love is in the Air".
Joan Jett sings, "Love hurts".
J Geils band sings, "Love Stinks".

No doubt, love is a necessity of life. It has been said that babies often die in orphanages if they have no one to love them. I have heard of people dying of a broken heart, such as after losing a spouse...

It is something we are infatuated with. But what does it look like REALLY?

The dictionary says:
love  noun, verb, loved, lov⋅ing.
1.a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
4.a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

verb (used with object) have love or affection for: All her pupils love her. have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person). have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music. need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight. embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover.

The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 13:
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5does not act unbecomingly; it
does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails;

In John 14:
15If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
21He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."

And in John 15:13 : Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

A synonym for love is:
af⋅fec⋅tion  /əˈfɛkʃən/
1. fond attachment, devotion, or love: the affection of a parent for a child.

4. the act of affecting; act of influencing or acting upon.
5. the state of being affected.

Obviously Love is not something that can be simply defined. Love is complex and has many facets. The Bible says God is Love. We cannot contain, nor understand Him entirely this side of heaven, as He is so vast. It stands to reason then, that we cannot contain, nor understand Love this side of heaven either. It is something we must grow to experience and study. In the act and experience of loving and being loved, we come to know what it is...

Though I have learned alot about love from being a child, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend and a mentor, I still, and will always have limited ability to express what it is.

It is said that we cannot express love unless we have experienced it. When I look at the definition of "affection", I see that it is influential. Our love expressed toward one another affects, influences, and has a ripple effect. It multiplies! If we love our children, they in turn will be loving, and will express love to their sphere of influence and it goes out from there.

God is love. We are called to be like Him, to know Him, to love Him with all our heart, and to love one another. Hence this quest for greater understanding and knowledge of "What is love?"

I will continue to explore this topic, would you please help me? Share your thoughts and insights here, or link to one of your posts about love, we can learn from one another.


Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Great...great post my friend!

One thing I LOVE about this faith how we are all..iron..sharpening iron...which helps us ALL to grow!

And LOVE, my such an important part of our journey!

Blessings...and feel free to link my post to yours!

Jill said...

You pose a wonderful question - one I've recently spent some time thinking about. I even had a post with the same title awhile back - Though that was awhile ago, I have yet to really understand the answer. Love is amazing - that from family and friends, but then you think about God - WOW! I love your words about how we can't express it until we've experienced it - how very true!! Thank you for helping me revisit this concept tonight.

Tea With Tiffany said...

Love is something I don't understand. I feel it. I long for it. And yet I know very little about deep sacrifice in loving. The Jesus kind of love is something I ache to know and give away. I'm with you in the learning curve.

Thank you for always sharing your personal experiences on my blog. Your comments mean so much to me. I always enjoy learning and gleaning from you.

Wish we could meet someday. I would love to walk into your gift shop and surprise you. Maybe someday.



Warren Baldwin said...

What a great post. This statement of yours is esp powerful: "When I look at the definition of "affection", I see that it is influential. Our love expressed toward one another affects, influences, and has a ripple effect. It multiplies!"

You are so right.

I think of love as a verb. We can love someone we don't like, even someone who is mean to us. That is why the Bible stresses love so much - it is more than just an attitude, it is a commitment to treat a person in a certain way regardless of how they treat us.

Jesus loved. I'm sure he didn't feel real warmly toward some of those people standing at the cross, esp the ones who put him there. But he loved them in the sense that he pursued their best interests. That is one definition I use for love - seeking to serve the best interests of another.

I'll be back to read more. Thanks, wb

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I am reading "Crazy Love" right now and there is a section about what love really is and how we really don't understand God's love for us. Great book and I just loved this post!

I want to be in those flowers on your header! Beautiful!