February 8, 2013 by A Girl Like Me
Ok, so we have tackled the big question as to what love really is. I know for some of you it may have been a refresher course in reminding yourself of a truth you already knew. For others of you it may have been an eye opening experience as you discovered a lie you had been seeing as truth but wasn’t. Either way, I know there must be a few of you out there with some lingering questions.
Some of you might be saying to yourself… “So if love is a choice, what about ______ ?” I know for me there are a lot of those moments where I ask myself the very same question. So if we understand that love is in fact a choice first, how do we determine when what we are experiencing isn’t love at all. Well, I’m glad you asked ;-) Now let me say that I am by no means an expert on the topic. Like you, I am still learning, still failing, and still trying to grasp how love biblically and purely is meant to operate. But in my years of experience and repeated failures and triumphs, these are the things that I have learned that love is NOT.
1. Love is not romance: So often we automatically equate the word love with romance. Romance and love are two very different and very separate affairs. For example…my husband is not a romantic. He’s pragmatic, logical, and his best attempts at being Mr. Don Juan end up being like a cheesy Disney teen movie. He has no game. This is something I find incredibly precious and endearing in him, but if his ability to be romantic were a precursor to love, our marriage would have failed years ago.
Love generally exists more in the moments where romance isn’t present than when it is. In times where I have confessed horrible things or been awful to my husband and he chooses to forgive me and extend me grace, love is more present in those moments than when he’s wining and dining me like some bad Nicholas Sparks movie.
2. Love is not sex: Now I won’t go into too much detail here, but I wanted to make sure it was noted. Love is certainly not sex nor is sex merely an expression of love. This could be a post in and of itself, but I need to make it clear at least in its simplest form. Sex is so much more, and so to say that it is the ultimate expression of love is to rob both sex and love of their beauty and complexity.
3. Love is not limited to male/female relationships: I know we all know this, but so often when we discuss the topic, our minds as women immediately gravitate towards boy/girl love. So, for the record, love (especially the kind we are discussing this month) is not just meant for that special someone. This view of biblical love is meant to be conveyed and displayed for all types of relationships. Of course it varies from person to person, but the underlying foundation still remains the same.
4. Love is not “The Ultimate”: As women, we ache to be loved above anything else in the world. We fear a life without love and typically spend most of our days seeking out how to be loved by others. But the truth is, earthly love will never satisfy us. For we are all failures at loving well. We will never fully love others like we should or be loved in return like we should. If love here on earth is your ultimate goal, you will end up bitter and resentful. Christ meant for earthly love to be merely a small sample of what His love is like. A glimmer if you will into the indescribable breadth and depth and glory of his love that will be thrust upon us when we will finally be reunited with him. Love here on earth is nothing compared to His love. And if we make earthly love all we are living for, we will find ourselves living a life filled with disappointment. Love on earth is solely meant to push us to Jesus and ache for His love above all else.
Understanding love to its fullest really is a lifelong process. Really, I feel as though Kelly and I may only be able to give you the beginners course on love seeing as how we each have a lot to learn ourselves. But our hope is that together with you we can all learn how to love better and let the Lord love us as we need to be loved. Open that box of chocolate candy hearts, light that smelly scented candle, and snuggle up with your favorite cozy blanket. We are diving head first into this crazy thing called love, and we’re not coming out the same. I hope you’re ready.