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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

February 2, 2014

I’ve been pondering on a question posed by a friend regarding love and its many realms.  She cited the various forms and levels of love she has experienced in her life and then asked, “How DOES the heart distinguish between them?”

In some ways, I want to think it is a miraculous aspect of our creation … a gift from The Creator.  But, then I recall the “dark side” or reality … that the ability to distinguish between the different kinds of love is clearly not a given.  After all … one glance at a newspaper, or a few sound-bytes from the television confirms that the “people-ness” of people has a tendency to distort and discredit the idealistic concept of “how love should be.”

For the most part … we (people) want to love, and we want to be loved.  Most of us know the difference in the love we feel for our parents or siblings or children, versus love for a friend, or spouse or lover. Some of us know that there is a “godly” realm of love that transcends all other forms and levels of love. But many of us, on one occasion or another have had difficulty discerning how to react to and/or release the various kinds of love.

Maybe a question to ask first, as in the words of the Tina Turner song, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7SvofIl–g

Is it really love that we seek … or is it acceptance?  Validation?  Security?  Control?  Comfort?  OR … just a simple and physical manifestation of some degree of passion or lust?  There are many things that come into our lives that we call “love” — but are they truly love?

According to Merriam-Webster.com, LOVE has numerous definitions.

 “Love.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love

From a biblical perspective, we often refer to 1 Corinthians 13 for a descriptive definition of love.

            1 Corinthians 13:4-7

New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

But when I read that passage, and I think of WHOM I say that I love, I’m reminded that too often, “I’m not so patient with them. I’m not always kind.  I’m often jealous and envious and too often proud.  I do seek self-satisfaction and sometimes, I get angry.  I may say I forgive but I rarely forget.  And certainly, try as I might, trust and hope and perseverance are elusive on any given day.”

So, with these two perspective, one secular and one scriptural, in relation to my friend’s question, the heart cannot possibly reconcile, understand or distinguish the broad spectrum of “love.”   Love simply cannot be confined to one simple idea.  Love encompasses many emotions, many thoughts, many fulfillments and many realms.  Certainly it can’t be for the faint of heart, but at the same time, it’s best when it not so complicated.

It can be torture to live without love, but … there is much pain “living in love.”

And yet … again … each and every one of us seek it, long for it, and all of its manifestations.

With love being such a truly diverse concept, is there any among us who are really equipped to “get love” and all that it is intended to be?  Or … are we all just settling for whatever our small minds can process.

With that thought … I have to ask … “where does that leave me?”

 

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