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“You call it madness, but I call it love.”

~ Don Byas
We can do crazy things when we are “in love”. So, following the same story in my previous post, I took time to think about how we process this fascinating idea called “love”.

We get together with someone when we “fall in love” and break up with them when we “fall out of love”. I also think we sometimes fall in love with the idea of being in love. We enjoy the romance, gifts, hugs, feelings of warmth and hearing our hearts beat when there is this special connection with someone. We may also have certain expectations, milestones, and boxes to tick when we choose to be in love with someone. It takes skill and surrender to discern the difference between loving someone or being in love with the state of loving someone.

Proverbs 30:18-19 tells us that love is not so easy to comprehend; “There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.”

We often read of or know of people who hang on in a relationship just headed for a crash. We, perhaps, could have been in that place where we justify every action, validate every thought and strengthen ourselves so we can achieve the outcome of “being in love” with another person. That’s where I ponder the importance of being surrendered to counsel and our Heavenly Father, who loves us so deeply. So, what does being in love mean?

As I process these thoughts, I land on three points. I know they are not exhaustive, but it gives me some handles for myself and the people I speak with regularly.

1) We can only love well if we are loved well.

The observation is that when a person has a tenuous relationship at home or with a previous relationship, and there is no reconciliation or healing, it becomes tough for this person to love well.

Sometimes reconciliation might not be possible as the other party might be deceased. Other factors may come into play, but healing is critical to love well. We often misplace our hurt when we try to get into a relationship to ‘heal’. That is like trying to heal a torn muscle by working it harder.

2) Love cannot exist in isolation.

Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” In this chapter, Paul deals with the topic of love, about how having gifts without love is tantamount to having nothing. He also talks about the many facets of love, it being kind, does not envy etc. The chapter then lands on “love” being the greatest attribute, but we are instructed to stay in “faith” and “hope” as well.

Here is where I think one of the keys to a strong love life lies; that this greatest thing called love should be supported by our faith in God and hope based on God’s character. This in itself purifies our love life. When we have faith in God, we accept His word is bankable, and His virtues are true. In other words, we trust that these statues are good for us.

For example, we lead a holy life by avoiding pre-marital sex regardless of how tempted we are. We seek counsel in our relationships despite the buzz we feel in our stomachs. We choose to allow God to heal us of our past and bring wholeness to our spirit, soul and body instead of relying on our methods.

There are ways in which God has provided for us to be whole, and that’s another topic. We have faith that by living a righteous life, we bring delight to God. We also have hope in God that should some relationships not work out, God always has a more excellent plan for all of us. I am sure we can find countless stories of such goodness.

3) Love honours. Love gives weight to the other party.

If we say we love God, our daily devotion to him should be a priority. Hearing His guidance will take precedence over our minds when making decisions. When someone loves us, that person will give weight to us. Just so you know, I did not say to give weight to our preferences, for sometimes our preference might not be expedient, and loving ourselves might require that bit of frank conversation.

On the other hand, honouring a person means this person sees me as a child of God and values me that way. They call out the good in me, sharpen me when I need it, comfort me when required, and always attempt to see me as God sees me. We do the same to the person we love; we honour them.

These are some of my thoughts, and I hope they present themselves as valuable. May we all grow in love with God and with one another.

Till the next piece.