Love's True Meanings

by Michael Corthell

Love's true meaning, as defined by God, has been demoted with common usage in the English language and in our society. Used in advertising for example, love is often confused with infatuation.

Infatuation is that 'high' feeling we get when we first 'fall' in love. This kind of 'love' is something that lasts a relatively short time, often less than a year, and unless it transitions to a true deep love, a broken relationship will likely ensue. It is good to note, however, that this type of love is the first stage of a relationship before developing into a mature intimacy and is therefore necessary for mature relationship bonding.

''Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.''

—Lao Tzu

Indeed, the true meaning of 'LOVE" has been terribly abused and degraded in today's world. It is used to describe selfish sexual lust, mainly by popular media and in the name of love a family member will excuse or enabling a sin to continue in the life of loved one. In our modern world it can seen as an uncontrollable emotion that leads to destructive behavior, or it can be an empty word with no real substance or meaning.

The love God defines, as the fruit or product of the Holy Spirit of God, is much different. It is translated from a Greek word: agape. Agape is the highest form of love that comes from and through God the Creator who's very nature is love.

''The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.''
Helen Keller

How do we find love, and know love when we find it?

The truth is, people can have difficultly defining, understanding, and describing what love actually is because it can be uniquely personal.

Love comes in many shapes and sizes...with many different kinds of people, places, times, and relationships, there are shared themes within 'love' such as being vulnerable, standing in amazement and being 'stunned', and the feeling of relating closely to that one special person. (six words to describe love)

Love is open ended and expansive. The giving and receiving of love broadens its own borders and sustains its own existence. Even though we know that we always stand the possibility of getting our hearts broken or that we lose a loved one, almost all will boldly to step into a new loving relationship.

The meaning and depth of love changes with experience. Our own experiences with love changes us as we build relationships over the course of our lives. In the present moment of a new relationship love's meaning changes as we learn to trust another person, as we learn what another person needs and wants, and as we learn what we want and need in that relationship.

How to, how much and who?

First understand that true love is the unconditional type of love—love that is personified by God's own being. Whether it be the love for your spouse or love for your parents, children, friends, or even all of mankind, this love we call 'agape' must be the foundational spirit in all loving relationships.
Strengthen the concept of love by finding positive ways to express it out loud. Celebrate it in multiple places in your life. Remember to go beyond 'hearts and flowers' — recognize the power of sharing your positive appreciation of others.   
Find ways to celebrate the differences in people that make our civilization rich and interesting. What commonalities bring us together?
Look for good, positive ways to connect with others. Develop relationships, engage in the infinite process of shared, human evolution and mutual exploration of our World and Universe.
Remember always that while physical love is exciting and magical and moving, it is also natural and reassuring and respectful.

God through His disciple Paul explains what Love truly is:

Love is patient. Love is kind.  Love is not jealous. Love does not brag. Love is not proud. Love is not rude.  Love is not selfish. Love is not easily angered. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong. Love is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. Love never stops trusting.  Love never loses hope. Love never quits.

 Love will never end. Love is all there is.

Finally, every action we take in life should be measured against these definitions of what love truly is and what it isn't. When we are pondering our potential actions, we should always measure them, and qualify them by love. 

What True Love Really Is

The School of Life

Most of us think we know what love is; we may just be looking for the right person to lavish our love on. But it's no insult, and indeed it might even be helpful to imagine, that we don't have much of a clue what love really is, not because we are deficient, but because our culture never investigates the subject as it should. Here is a list of seven ingredients that the School of Life suggests lie at the heart of a proper understanding of love.