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