A four-letter word that can bring the greatest joy and yet the worst pain. Love can save lives and destroy countries. Love is what so many of us seek out, and yet so many of us fail to obtain. What is love to one, may be torture for another. To define love is a fine line The dictionary will give you a long definition, but it seems to fall short of the raw emotion tied to the word. Love is so much more than the simple definition.
The word love seems, in my opinion, to be thrown around quite causally these days, lacking the real emotion, I think it should spark in people.
“I love Sporting KC; they are my favorite soccer team”
“I love that new dress you have on”
“I love that show on Monday nights’
I think in today’s society. we really have discarded the true meaning of love. We have down played its significance in life. When I think about the LOVE I have for my children, it does not compare even remotely to the “affection” I have for my favorite soccer team. However, we as a society have linked the word “love” as a likable term for everyday things.
So what does love really mean? The way each person processes and interprets love cannot be contained in a mere book’s definition. Love crosses the boundaries of all races, religions and can be found in every part of the world. Love can be interpreted on so many levels. I think there is the standard thought that love is a strong attachment or connection with another person, place or thing. I also believe love is different for each individual
In a large amount of the weddings attended I have heard the verse from 1 Corinthians read (depending on the translation of whichever bible it was read from), love is patient; love is kind; love does not envy, etc., And I truly believe that is a good starting point for what love means to me. Even so, love goes beyond this, love to me is a deeper connection with another human being than anything that words can describe. It does not necessarily need words to convey the emotion. Love can be felt in the mere presence of the one sharing the emotion. A single look, a casual touch or a whispered word can make one “feel” the love from the other. The soul simply connects with another in a bond that cannot be described in any other way but love.
In the Bible, we are called to love in several places. Love your God, love your neighbor, even love your enemies. Yes, that is right you are supposed to love those who do you wrong. “Ya, umm I’m not so sure I’m down with that. I mean really, I’m supposed to love the person that just robbed me. The woman at work that steals my supplies. The woman at the grocery store that cussed at me because I took the last box of donuts. The man who murdered my family member. The person that shares complete different beliefs than me and lets me know how wrong my beliefs are?”. Yes you are. Kind of hard to swallow that one huh? I know it has been hard for me several times in my life to love my enemy. But then I think about the times I probably was pretty dang hard to love and yet God loved me just the way I was in that terrible moment.
What about loving your neighbors? I’m not a seminary graduate or deeply studied theologian on religion; however, pretty sure Jesus was not referring to just the people who live next door to me (although I do really love all my neighbors next to me). My thoughts on all that…..your neighbor is anyone in close proximity to you. This could be ex-cons, atheist, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhist, drug addicts, alcoholics, thief’s, bisexual, or homosexual even your ex-spouse. You may have been brought up to think Jews were wrong, atheist are wrong, or choosing a gay lifestyle is wrong, but when Jesus said to love your neighbors, he didn’t make out a list of those that were lovable and those that you should refrain from loving. He didn’t say only love the ones that share your same thoughts, ideals, and religious stance. He said his first commandment was to love him, and the second greatest commandment was that you love your neighbor. Love them, and that’s it. You don’t have to agree with them; you just have to show them love.
How have we strayed so far from something so simple as love? I can tell you in my life I have not always loved my neighbor, in fact, I have said and done some really hateful things to others. So why is it so hard to love everyone? Because my friends it is easier to justify hate. It is easier to justify revenge. It is really hard to look at the person who has wronged you in the worst possible way and say, “I love you; I’m sorry that you are at a point in your life you felt the need to do me wrong”. It can be very difficult to look at someone who is doing something in his or her life you 100% do not agree with and say, “I hear where your coming from, and I don’t believe that way, however, I love you as a person anyway”.
I think as a human race, we all need to take a small moment in our busy lives to reflect on love. What it means to love, how we could be affected by love, how the way we show love affects others, and by incorporating a little more love into our everyday life maybe this world would not be full of constant violence and hatred. We could be more compassionate, patient and kind if we tried a little harder to love. It’s a choice we make, to love or to hate. What is your choice, encompass love, let the hate continue or do as you always have and change nothing?
I’m going to try the love option….I mean really, what’s the worst that can happen if I love a little more!