“Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away
I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all” (Joni Mitchell)
It’s Valentines Day, a. k. a. Single Awareness Day. It’s great for those who are in relationships (or who still have great hopes of relationships). For those who are perpetually single who spend way too much time with their cats? Not so much.
Still, I’ve been around enough to know what real love is and is not. So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the matter.
Love is not a feeling. Well, it is, but it’s so much more than that. I heard a pastor today say that love involves the head, the heart, and the hands. Love is primarily a choice, an act of the will– that’s the head. It’s also emotions– that’s the heart. It always leads to acts of selflessness– that’s the hands.
Love is not just romantic. There’s brotherly love and comfort love and– best of all– that unconditional love that always starts and ends with God.
If I say I love someone, that means more than a warm fuzzy feeling or a Hallmark sentiment. It is a decision to place that person’s welfare above my own, to do everything in my power to help that person realize all their potential and help them to become everything God created them to be.
If you want to define love, you begin and end with God’s ultimate expression of Himself in the person of Jesus. He gave up absolutely everything for you and me. His sacrifice forever set the tone of what true love should look like.
I believe love isn’t Romeo and Juliet dying for passion, but the old couple down the street growing old together. it’s the man with arthritis painting the toenails of his wife who has Alzheimer’s and can’t begin to repay him, much less express thanks for what he’s done.
Love is always sacrifice. Ultimately, love means you give without expecting anything in return. The final word on love is Jesus dying on a cross for people who would ultimately reject His sacrifice and many more who accept it and then take it for granted. Yet, that love perseveres.
That’s love. I don’t completely understand all of it, but I know that I can only love someone else if God first loved me and His love in me flows out to the other person.
I definitely know I want more of it.