Monday, February 1, 2016

What Love is ... and Isn't

I've thought a lot about the L word lately. It is, after all, that time of year when you walk into a store and are deluged with hearts and flowers and boxes of candy the size of Montana. 

In my humble opinion, the word “love” (both as a verb and a noun) may well be the most abused word in the English language. Take a look:

“I love you too much to let anyone else have you,” a husband tells his wife, just before blowing her brains out. 

“If you loved me, you would do this for me,” a boy says to the girl who is refusing to have sex with him. 

"I can't stay with your mom, because I'm not in love with her," a father tells his sobbing teenager, who is begging him not to leave. 

What stands out about the above examples is the fact that those using the word love in these scenarios, all have selfish motives. It's all about them and their satisfaction. What is best for me, seems to be the underlying theme.

So what is love? Perhaps the best definition can be found in the Bible. Often referred to as the “love chapter,” it reads like this:

“If I could speak every language in the world, but didn’t love others, I would only be making a noise.

"If I could predict the future, knowing everything about everything, but didn’t love others, I would be worthless.

"If I gave everything I own to the poor, or were burned alive for my faith, but didn’t love others, it would be of no value to me.

"Love is extremely patient and kind, never jealous or envious. and never proud and haughty.

"Love isn’t selfish or rude.

"Love does not demand its own way, and isn’t irritable or touchy.

"Love does not hold grudges, and scarcely notices when others do it wrong.

"Love mourns in the face of injustice, but celebrates whenever truth wins out.

"If you love someone you will be loyal to that person, no matter the cost. You will believe in that person, expecting the best of that person, and you will always be ready to defend that person.

"When all is said and done, you have not accomplished anything, if you have failed to love.

"Love is the greatest thing in the world.”

~ 1 Corinthians 13


  1. you echo my own thought-lines today! Thank-you.

    Lord, teach us to love!

  2. This was our sermon topic yesterday in church. It can be such a trite subject, but also one that begs for depth. Your tragic examples are perfect for making me think about all the misuses and abuses of the word.

  3. comes from God and that's what his definition is. A timely and beautiful post, my friend :)

  4. Sometimes I find myself saying, "I love that picture or I love that thought, etc.
    I now try really hard to find another word to replace it with another feeling.
    Love isn't a feeling, it's a decision.

  5. Great blog post. Really makes me aware of how much we use the word "love".

  6. What if you love a person dearly but can no longer stand by and watch them destroy themselves and the family? What then? Yes, I took my vows to love forever and I still dearly love the man I divorced. But I had to get out after 16 years.....I had to help myself and my girls because he would not help himself. And still hasn't. What then? What of love? I don't think I'll ever love like that again....and yet, I am a happier person now, without the drama and destruction.

    1. Sometimes relationships are too broken to mend and it always takes two willing parties to make relationships work. Such is life.

  7. A beautiful post. My Hubby has stuck with me through thick and thin with my panic attacks and has never said they were all in my head as some people have. He has always told me, What can I do to help you. That is love.

  8. I don't want to feel that kind of love for a man again, and I won't. Too much damage the last time around.

  9. Oh yes, so true and sad that love is abuse. Our hearts long so much for that perfect love that we are willing to suffer abuse for it aren't we? That is why I concluded the only perfect love is of the Father. Great post.

  10. Yes.

    Love is all about another person. And that was never shown better than when our Savior, because of Love, gave His very life for us.


  11. A really good post and Bible passage. I am so thankful that God is Love!!

  12. One of the most quoted chapters, isn't it? And we do take it for granted, overlook it. Thank you for these verses that we can never live up to but there is One who always does!

    Dayle, I have tried twice to copy and paste your blog into my blogroll. It says it's there but I can't find it. So I will now leave my info to get your new posts in my email!

    1. Thanks, Dewena. I went to your blog site and was able to see my blog in your blogroll, for what it's worth. :) Thank you!


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