At the sound of this one word, some hearts flutter, some others skip a beat. There is rush of adrenaline for some; others blush.
Love, surprisingly, has been equated with emotions. But is it all that is there to it? Emotions keep changing; don’t they? Today, you feel madly in love with someone; when the sun rises the next day you wonder where all the “love” you felt yesterday has gone; don’t you?
So love does not properly belong to the realm of emotions; though emotions do colour our love with all kinds of splashes. Then what is love?
It is basically a decision to hold the other person in the highest esteem, value him or her above all else, and cherish that person like no other and hold him or her so close and dear to one’s heart.
Love is not about getting; it is about giving.
Love is not about selfishness; it is about sacrifice.
Love is not about being on top of the charts; it is about humility, the willingness to serve.
Love is not about bragging; it is about doing things for the other without advertising.
Love is not about covering up evil; it is about being transparent and living in the light.
Love is not about falsehood; it is about speaking the truth.
Love is not static; it grows. The love of a parent for a child grows along with years; the love of a husband for his wife ideally should grow along with years and vice versa. The limitless potential for growth, for discovery, for being surprised, for finding joy in little things, are all what makes love, love.
Finally, we cannot think on love without thinking of God. The well known passage in the Bible speaks about love in this compelling way: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”* Not one of us can earn this love; but each one of us can respond to it.
So love is a response as well. Wishing you an ever-increasing capacity to respond to God’s everlasting love for you, the love of the members of your family, your friends and colleagues, and all those whom you come into contact with. At times when you respond in love to hate and evil behaviour, the other is also constrained to love!
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 Bible