What is love, exactly?
Is it a feeling? An emotion?
Coming from a biblical, and christian perspective, we all know that God IS love…
So, if you ask me personally, I think love is first and foremost a choice.
I don’t think it’s a feeling or an emotion at all. But rather a commitment to actually be love for that person every day. And that takes on many different forms of emotion and feelings.
Growing up, my aunt always taught me that when I found someone I wanted to be with, put their name in place of “love” in 1 Corinthians 13, and see if it matches up with the person you know them as…
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This is a profound verse to live by.
Of course I would want someone who holds themselves to the highest standard of integrity, and live out what it truly means to “love” …who wouldn’t? Everyone should.
But it wasn’t until about two years ago when I came to a realization; who am I to put these expectations on someone and not live by them myself?
So, instead of searching for someone that fulfilled the definition of love, I decided it was better for me to embody love for myself. If I can portray to others what love really is, then God will put someone right along the same path as me who has also practiced and progressed in love. Then I won’t have to search, and I won’t have to put their name in place of love, because I will already know that they are love.
Although it’s great preparation for the wife I may be someday, there is a bigger reason why I try to embody this. Not to find a future spouse, but to be more like Christ. It’s our sole purpose from God to spread the light that He has put inside of us, out into the world. It is the same light that speaks life into galaxies and formed breath inside the grave. I may never have a spouse, I could just as easily die before that time in my life comes, and I would be doing God a huge disservice to blatantly ignore the light He created me with, and live out my days by my own accord.
I think that our purpose for the light He has gifted us with translates directly to what we desire in this world. And if you know your scripture then you know that we shouldn’t really be putting our hopes in this world, but keeping our treasure above, and setting our hearts on the Kingdom of God (heaven).
However, I 100% believe that God knows we can’t control the urge to keep some hope in our future here on earth. I think He knew that the second we turned our backs on Him in the garden of Eden that perfection would forever be a foreign concept for us. This is one reason why I believe our hearts are never truly satisfied (this is something I am in the process of writing a whole other post about because I could go very deep into this thought).
So, God put desires in each of our hearts. And He puts desires in our hearts for a reason. He fully intends to give them to us, if not, He wouldn’t have put them there in the first place. But (and this is where I’ve gotten it backwards before) the intention behind these desires is to put more hope and trust in the One who has the ability to bring them full circle. To desire the One who gave us these desires, above the desire itself.
Hope in Him. Seek FIRST His kingdom, and He will give them to us, as long as they align with His heart… and if they don’t, then I can guarantee you, God didn’t put that desire there, YOU did.
***I’m going to go off track a little bit here because I just thought of this as I typed it out***
That verse; “seek FIRST the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 6:33), I think that actually backs up exactly what I just said about God knowing it’s impossible for us not to hope in an earthly future. He knows we have hopes and dreams but He also knows that it’s better for us to hope more in His kingdom because what our human hearts hope for, may never come for us on earth. He doesn’t say seek ONLY the kingdom of God, but rather seek FIRST. And I think that’s part of God’s grace. Even though we 149304% should ONLY be seeking heaven, God knows that’s impossible for us. So yet again, for what is likely the millionth time in history, He makes a bargain with us… “seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and all these things will be given to you.”
To wrap this all up, I’m going to leave you with a few questions to meditate on. Take time out for a little self reflection and ask if it applies to you…
Are you practicing patience?
Are you kind to EVERY person you interact with?
Are you seeking to do good for the sake of others, or rather for your own benefit?
Do you speak negatively towards others or are you speaking encouragement and positivity?
Do you get mad easily? How long do you hold grudges?
Are you protective of the people you care about?
Where does your loyalty lie?
Can you push through difficult and even sometimes messy situations with grace?
After answering these questions HONESTLY for myself, it allowed me to physically see the areas that I needed to grow and do better in. I fully believe this is something every single person should try to practice on their own. It’s tough at first. And I think the most difficult for me was the quick to anger, and keeping records of wrong…. but over time, you do learn to let go, and the little things don’t take a second thought to even look past. You quickly realize that we are all human. We are ALL going to make mistakes and hurt each other in the process of making those mistakes.
And once I really began implementing what I call “Corinthians” into my own life, I noticed a difference in how I act towards others. I’m more careful with people, and way more intentional than before. I’ve become more gracious because I’ve acted unjustly and dishonored someone before also. I’m more forgiving, and less likely to hold onto the hurt that someone put me through. You learn that pain is temporary, it’s inevitable… but still, only temporary. Love is the only constant, and the greatest of all measures on this earth.
Just some food for thought and hopefully some encouragement to be a better version of YOU every single day.