A short time ago, if you were to have asked me if I understood the meaning of true love, I would have confidently answered, "Well, duh. Of course I do." Love is giving your heart away for someone else to hold, devoting your time and effort to ensure the well-being of the relationship, and experiencing the rush of sharing intimacy with your best friend... right? Wrong. Well, right and wrong. True, these are all supplementary to being in love, but I have learned that love, as a whole, is so much more.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
Throughout the duration of my so-called "single life", I have had time to clear my mind from the stereotypes of love. In doing so, I have learned that it is a much, much larger entity then I could have ever imagined. Before, I used to divide love: Worldly Love (specific to relationships between people) and Godly Love (God's love for us, and our love for Him). I was never able to realize that there is only one kind of love that should be believed in and shown in absolutely everything that we do [including relationships!]. This "worldly love" that I believed stood solitarily, was shallow--empty.
"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
I used to be selflessly selfish. Yes, that may sound contradictory, but in giving my all to one person (that was not God), I had expected to continue being happy with life. Although it felt like I was being completely selfless, I was ignoring what was important-- my faith, people in need, and my potential to do what God has called me to do. I didn't understand the true meaning of love then, and I know that it is impossible for me to fully understand it even today.
So there I was-- neglecting my family, friends, and even myself. Now, I don't want you to envision a pitiful picture of me, because that's not how it was at all. I have always been blessed, and He has always taken care of me. I'm just trying to make the point that I was lost, confused, and extremely mislead by the world.
"There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations." -Francois de La Rouchefoucauld
I believe that
Love is the strength that holds friends together through the trials of life.
Love is the unconditional bond between families, regardless of circumstance.
Love is the willingness to reach out to those in pain, or in need.
Love is the faith to continue, with no answers in sight.
Love is the patience to sympathize.
Love is the kindness of extending a smile...just because.
Love is the act of loving yourself for who you are, not who someone thinks you should be.
Love is the forgiveness of sins.
Love is the wisdom to share His story with others.
I feel that I could go on and on, thus reminding myself that love is much bigger than I ever knew before. Most importantly, "...God is Love" 1 John 4:8.
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14
To any young girls reading this, I challenge you to make sure you understand the true meaning of love, before assuming that it's real. This world is too saturated with cheating, temptation, and deceit to live blindly.
And to everyone-- Next time you find yourself thinking about something or someone you love, I encourage you to determine whether or not Jesus Christ is a part of it. I can assure that if He is-- it will be much more rewarding.
I hope that you do not find this post condescending, for it is simply an excerpt from my journey! ... Still growing, and strengthening my understanding of His love. I am excited to continue learning, continue loving, and to eventually find that man who understands the true meaning of love as well. I attached what is probably my favorite song by Tenth Avenue North "Beloved". I think it is a wonderful summary of this post. :)