Let that question sink in for a couple moments. What is it?
We live in times where we “love” broccoli like we “love” our parents, where we “hate” the guts of people we are actually closest to. (Guilty of the last one…my brother’s guts are just so hateable).
If we don’t know what true love looks like, how can we ever expect to find it? Of course, there are many different types of love, but I’m talking love in general.
What are its characteristics? For starters, I think love loves unconditionally. It sees the worst and reflects the best; love gets hurt, but still loves, richly, completely.
While “like” sees only the good in a person, infatuated by their drop-dead gorgeous looks, amazing personality, and perfectness, love sees deeper – the flaws, the lack of singing ability, the hairy toes, the warts, all of it – and says, “I love you. Not in spite of those things – because of them. I love you.”
“This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Love is unselfish. It doesn’t love to get; in fact, quite the opposite. Love desires what is best for the person you adore, whether it brings personal gain or not.
Love is innocent, unable to think or see the worst, unless clearly proven. It doesn’t jump to conclusions, doesn’t imagine slights – love trusts.
Love is kind, yet honest. Not self-seeking, love seeks to build up others, to encourage, to lift up the chin of someone who feels undeserving and whisper, “I love you. Just because.”
“To the loved, a word of affection is a morsel; but to the love-starved, a word of affection can be a feast. ” ~ Max Lucado
Loves treasures the unloveable and loveable alike, unconcerned whether it is “cool” to do so or not. Love doesn’t care – a first for love, but one of its best characteristics: it cares more about the person that its own personal reputation.
Love is blind. The other day, I heard a story about a woman just recently married. She was, of course, ecstatic, extolling the praises of her young husband and filling the listener’s ear with the trite nothings that mean everything to a newly-wed.
“I can’t believe Roger noticed me,” the young bride enthused. “He was so sweet, so nice to everyone, so kind.”
She fanned herself. “So cute…” she whispered, giggling coyly.
Just then, two men approached the two women. One was Adonis, the other a man his best friends would have called “pleasant looking.”
The listener held out a hand to Adonis. “You must be Roger.”
Meanwhile, the pleasant looking man had gone to the young bride and kissed her tenderly. She looked with starry eyes at her friend and whispered, “Isn’t he just like an Adonis?”
Love is blind.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”