Tuesday, May 3, 2011
That little 4-letter word:
...is a many-splendored thing.
...lifts us up where we belong.
...is a right.
...means never having to say you're sorry.
...makes the world go round.
...is all that I can give to you.
The world, society, culture, the Bible, and people have defined "love" in countless ways, some of which I listed above. It's a feeling, more than a feeling, an emotion, an action, an expression, and can even be turned into an adverb. Love is all around us...and it is wonderful.
In my opinion, though, the word "love" is overused in today's society. You can love your husband, daughter, life, job, neighborhood, pool, pet, new outfit, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, favorite movie, or Prada backpack (bonus points for getting that reference). I hear junior high girls exclaiming, "Love you!"s as they depart from their lockers to go to class. I hear high schoolers and co-workers saying, "Oh my gosh - I love you! Thank you so much!" after someone does them a favor. Don't get me wrong - I don't doubt the people in these situations value each other. I do doubt, however, that the "love" they're expressing is the same love they share with their family, spouses, etc. I realize there are varying levels and different types of love (family, friendship, and romantic), but I still think the word loses some of its depth and power in the overuse. It is for this reason that I try to use the word "love" carefully and am leery of those who seem to use it excessively.
I my own experience, love has been and is (in no particular order):
what God calls us to show others.
the foundation of meaningful friendships, relationships, and marriages.
difficult and confusing, at times.
having another's best interests at heart.
the hardest thing to give up/sacrifice when following God's leading.
I could go on and on...and on, but we'll leave it at that, for now. I don't think love can be completely defined using words. Actions must accompany, and in many cases, surpass words in order to fully exemplify this concept. It's interesting to examine what "love" means to us as a culture, a religion, as individuals, etc. These are only pieces of my own self-examination. Perhaps some of you can relate...or not?
I feel completely cliché saying this, but I will: I love love. I truly do, and today I celebrate it. I celebrate the love my parents share (it's their 25th wedding anniversary), the love that's been shown to me, the love of those around me, the love I share with those closest to me, and the love I have yet to give. Most of all, though, I celebrate the love of God, which surpasses all understanding (Ephesians 3:19).
May you both feel and show love today...and everyday.
P.S. In light of the recent events of our world, I'd like to remind you that we are called to love, forgive, and pray for our enemies.
Favorites of the day:
the 3-yr.-old I nanny for asking to make an "appointment" with me to go to the zoo this summer
not wearing a coat/jacket/sweatshirt outside...and being comfortable!
good-bye kisses (in this case, from 1 and 3-yr.-olds)