Do you really love or just like?

Oh, how we confuse the reality of love! We use the word love in reference to almost anything and anyone. How about, "I love my dog," "I love ice cream," or "I love that car!" Can we really love things? Perhaps it is time to put the reality of love back into the word and quit confusing the world of its true meaning. You see, love used to be a word reserved to define a special relationship between people. Relationships where people just share things with each other is more defined as contracts. Love is defined not in just sharing things with each other, but also where individuals share themselves with each other. It is really a word that defines giving without intent to receive anything in return.

Love does not define a relationship where I need something. WOW, love without expectation? That means if I love you, I do not expect you to change in order for me to continue to love you. If I love you, I am willing to let you be you and if you love me you are willing to let me be me. Now you can see that, "True love is not easy." True love is not about dominance; it is about surrendering. You say, "If I have to work to love you is that true love? True love is not about surrendering. Surrendering shows weakness and should not be a part of any relationship!" However, truth says, "When I am weak, I am strong." The mindset for many in their relationship acts on the principle that if they need something from the other person then they are dependent on them and will try to dominate to acquire it. The truth is, however, if we don't need anything, (love without expectation,) then we can experience the freedom in every sense of the phrase, "To love."

Think also that if I really love you, I do not have to like everything you do. Love is not based on the fact that I must constantly like everything about you, for there are times when you will not like me, but you can choose to love me anyway. St. Paul reminds us that the greatest of all character traits; the greatest of all virtues is love. True love demands the best of each of us who really desire to show love. Love demands that I not only share myself with you, but that I am willing to forgive without expectation. It demands that I forgive and forget that for which I forgave you! In our humanness, many people remember the hurts forever and continue to bring them up from time to time. This is not true forgiveness.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

These are the most referred to words in weddings, but do we live the reality of these words in our actions in all of our relationships? How is your real love doing?


Covenant vs Contract

Thom shares the difference between a covenant and a contract.