What is Love?

What is Love?

LoveIs_Diff LoveIs_Goofy LoveIs_WhereUWantToBe

Hopefully this time of year is filled with love. However most of our families aren’t perfect and we have occasional squabbles especially with the stress of the season and getting to deal with each other more. But my goal and challenge for you (my family or whoever is reading) is that we exercise greater love towards our family in the coming year!

So what is love? There is romantic love, love for a friend or sibling, and a parent’s love.

The Greeks had 4 words for love:
- Agape is unconditional love. It is love by “choice” even if you are not pleased. A good example is “God loves us with our faults.” It is the word used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13.
- Philia is affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals.
- Storge is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.
- Eros is passionate or romantic love.

But I think all of the following sayings can apply to most types of love. My favorite saying about love (found in the 10 commandments for marriage ;) is:
- “Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

A good one I heard in a relationship seminar was:
- “Love is about investing in another person and is for the betterment of another person.”

When I turned to google, the source of all knowledge ;) (jk lol), some sayings that came up were:
- “Love is being your strange self all the time and have someone love you for that.”

- “The definition of love, is when you can recognize that you care about a person as much as you care about yourself.”

- “Love is selflessness.”

If we turn to the scriptures, we see they have much to say about love – that it is a commandment, to love even our enemies:
- “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy, But I say unto you, Love your enemies.” Matt 5:43-44

- “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyselfMatt 22:39 &Love one another; as I have loved you” John 13:34.

And that God’s love is unconditional, universal, and intrinsic to his nature:
- “God is love.” 1 John 4:8

- “Perfect love casteth out fear1 John 4:18

- “There was no contention because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.” 4 Ne 1:15

- “Charity is the pure love of Christ” Moro. 7:47

And finally my favorite scripture:
- “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7

How do you define love? I’d love ;) to hear!

And what should love not be?

Love is not selfish. Love is not fear. Love is not unkind (or gossipy or backbiting or name-calling). Love is not controlling. And love should not be conditional.

Someday I hope to have children, and I imagine there is almost nothing my children could do that could change my love for them. I’m sure they could do things that would make me sad but it couldn’t make me love them less. If anything it would make me worry about them and show my love even more to them. And I love my current family – Ben (the best hubby ever! ;), my parents, sister, step-dad & step-brothers, in-laws, cousins, aunts & uncles, and grandparents. And of course there are friends who you love like family :). And I can’t imagine my love for them ever changing. I’m not saying we should be walked over, and there may occasionally be an unhealthy relationship that we need to step back from. But I’ve found often when people are upset (at least myself) what they really just want to hear is that you still love them.

So this year let us show a greater abundance of love. Let’s be more patient and more kind. Let’s put aside our differences and find our common ground. (Or have a debate if you like that kind of thing like me ;). Let’s not pick at each other’s faults.

Who is with me?

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “What is Love?

  1. Afton

    I think it’s interesting that the greatest commandments are to love God and love our others. We live in a world of stunted communication and imperfect people. Unconditionally loving those who offend us, is by far, the most difficult thing to do. Almost a double jeopardy situation, because we don’t fully understand their intent and likely never will. Yet, despite our inability to perfectly decode outside influences, we all feel the need to let go of anger and enter a state of personal peace and love.
    Love is a very one-sided activity. Not that you can’t share a moment with someone, but that the desire to love originates only from within. Someone can do everything possible out of love for another, but the other can still choose whether they want to extend back that same love.
    So maybe, it’s the greatest commandment because it will be our greatest achievement in this life; developing an intrinsic nature of love.

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  2. Afton

    Oh, I forgot to mention. There’s a really great book I read a while ago called “Conscious Loving.” It’s an exercising in understanding why we should share unconditional love and how to overcome feelings of hate. Such a great book!

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  3. Teyanna

    Yes, I think an intrinsic nature of love would be a great lifelong achievement! And I’ll have to check out the book :).

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  4. munyans Post author

    Thanks Danielle (and thanks for the thoughtful Christmas card)!

    My sister-in-law shared a quote about love that I liked: “There are two types of people in the world: Those you love and those you don’t know.”
    ~Teyanna

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