What Love Is NOT


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.

10 thoughts on “What Love Is NOT

  1. Sarah says:

    This whole series is a real eye-opener for me. I really appreciate you sharing and teaching! Thank you! I’m 18, with a dream of one day being married. But I often find myself making the idea of marriage as too much a center of my life. I find myself thinking more about if a guy likes me rather than thinking of godly things. I never really understood what love really is when it comes to relationships. This post really helped me begin to see it in a different light. I can’t wait to read more!

    • Tabitha says:

      I’m 37, Sarah, and I wish I’d had information like this at your age! I didn’t know what love was when I initially got married and 10 years later I found myself a divorced, single mom. God is undeniably gracious and has sustained me since, but I wish I’d had someone speak this truth into my life when I was younger. There is nothing more tragic than being married and finding you are unloved and feeling alone. I learned (the hard way) I’d rather be single and alone than married and alone. The beautiful thing is that there are godly men out there who want to love well and be loved well, with Christ as the center. God hasn’t brought one for me (or me for a guy), but I am super comfortable knowing God is good, He loves me in ways I can’t get anywhere else, and He has and will sustain me for the long haul if that is His will. I’ll be praying that Jesus shows you how deeply loved you are and that He grants the desire of your heart first in Him, then in a godly marriage!

  2. Abigail says:

    I am so excited for this series! I am 19, and I think my dream of one day being married, while not wrong, takes too much from me. Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through your experience!

  3. Hannah says:

    Awesome! I’m really loving and enjoying this series so far! Thank you for writing these awesome posts! I think the dream of one day being married and having kids, takes way to much time and energy from me and these posts really help:) Thanks again!

  4. Sheridan says:

    this is truely amazing… But Heather and Kelly.. can you also talk about teenage love as well?? prehaps

    • Elizabeth Cook says:

      Hi Sheridan! I’m not Heather or Kelly :) but your comment struck something in me that made me want to reply. It kind of goes along the same lines as what Tabitha (above) said. I am 39, never been married, but still wish someone had spoken this truth into my life when I was a teenager. Even though I didn’t marry the “wrong guy,” I made many mistakes throughout the years during my attempts to find the “right guy.” Mistakes that created consequences that I have spent many years overcoming- with the Lord’s perfect guidance. I am assuming you are a teenager (forgive me if I’m wrong!) and I remember how difficult and consuming it was to try and decipher love at that age. Truth is, it can be difficult and consuming at ANY age if we don’t have the basics. I think the “basics” are really about seeking to understand how God loves us, sees us, and desires for us to see Him. Ultimately what I’m trying to say is, no matter what age you are, learning to love the way God loves, and keeping Him as your first and greatest love is essential to finding true love on earth. Start early! Then maybe you can avoid so many of the obstacles that others of us have created for ourselves! Blessings and prayers to you :)

  5. Natalie says:

    Im SOOO excited! Maybe when we’re done with the “love” topic, we can discuss marriage? It would be great to learn what its all about since society sells us something completely different than what the bible tells us marriage should be!

  6. “Understanding love to its fullest really is a lifelong process” definitely agree, thanks girls for taking time to write these posts!

  7. E.B.Richards says:

    As much as I enjoyed reading what you wrote, there is something you missed. Everything you wrote is true for you because that is the way you see it and how it is for you and it works. Everyone defines love in their own way. Some see love as a man writing things like, “Lost in the depths of the forever that is you, I go on living in a world…” or some see love as they know I love them so I shouldn’t have to say it. We all have our own definitions.
    Love in and of itself is perfect. If we do not try to control it or slam it into the cookie cutter definition of what we should fill it should be. It is when we do this, we begin to see a love that is not perfect a love that is forced. You and your husband realized this early on and instead of forcing your own definitions of what love is, you let it flow freely. Instead of focusing on how it should be, you surrendered to each other and focused more on how each of you wanted to be with the other. Focused more on what would bring joy to the other. From what I read of your blog, you are two people who love each other so much, that you focus more on showing it on a day to day bases to the point you forget about the ‘what is in it for me” and instead you focus on the “I want to show you how much more I love you today than I did yesterday.” No matter how subtle it is.

    • “Everybody defines love their own way.” This is true, but everybody also likes to define what they think is right or wrong, and we have access to knowing both.
      Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It is not selfish, it is not irritable, and it does not keep a record of being wronged. It doesn’t like to see injustice but rather it rejoices when justice is done and truth wins. Love is endless and never gives up or loses faith. Love is always hopeful and it endures through each and every circumstance.
      I am afraid that you have missed the entire point of this blog if you are convinced that each person’s definition of love was truth.

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