“Love” is a word that has inundated itself within the vocabulary of our generation weaving itself in and out of the public and private conversation being wielded as a rally cry for movements, and a trump card for arguments.
“Love” is something we say when we feel so strongly about something, when we don’t know how else to describe it.
“Love” it is the word in which we wrap up our deepest emotions, in hoping to convey the depth of our commitment to the ones we share our lives with.
But even in the midst of of the never ending barrage of a culture obsessed with the use of the word “love”, I somehow find myself confused as to what it actually means.
What actually is love? What does love look like lived out and acted on? What does it truly mean to love someone?
I so desperately want to know, because daily I find myself looking at humanity completely confused at a generation who says it “loves life” but then terminates the lives that come at inopportune times.
Or cries, “love everyone” from the top of their lungs, and then go on to hate the person next to them when they believe something different.
Or when two people vow in front of God to love each other forever, committing to remain faithful “for better or worse” but then leave when the feelings have gone.
If I didn’t know better, I would assume that this word -that many say includes unconditional commitment, sacrifice, and dedication- would seem is only real when it’s convenient, fun, easy, and makes us feel good.
And if this is true, I think that “love” is something I no longer want any part of.
I always hoped and believed that love was more than just a nice sentiment or pretty adjective, but instead was something stronger than any human emotion, something that pulled us through our weakness even when our strength was failing and our feelings waning.
I always wanted believe that love was bigger than us, and wasn’t bound by the brokenness to deeply imprinted within us.
But as we look at humanity it’s clear that on our own, our love fails. So what hope do we have?
Could it be, that our hope must lie beyond our selves, beyond the mistakes we are bound to make, and the weakness we are fated to live with. Our hope for love must lay is something less mortal than our failing and dying bodies and wills, and stronger than the darkness in our hearts.
Is it possible that our hope for true love lays beyond anything we have to offer, and its true definition is found only in the designer of love itself.
Could it be that love can not survive in our natural and broken mortality, but is instead to endure it must be found in the eternal hands of a timeless and perfect creator, who first demonstrated what true love is.
I don’t know... But if there is a definition of what true “Love” really is, one that calls out to us offering us a choice to take part in what pure, eternal love really actually looks like, a love that outlasts our failings, and offers us healing for our broken hearts. A definition of love that could gives us strength to remain faithful even in our human relationships should we choose it, it might look something like this...
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”
Because of our brokenness and the fallen world in which we live, as long as we are here we will never be able to love perfectly. But, because of the grace of our creator we have a chance to enter in a new definition of love that I believe has to ability to change our lives, and even the world.
Though, this definition of love is not a feeling, or an emotion, but a choice we must make. Will you make the choice to make this eternal, pure, and true definition of love your love?