We can learn much from watching how others express love, who they chose to love and the motives behind their love.
The world tosses around the word “Love” to fit all kinds of scenarios. I love my dog. I love peppermint chocolate chip ice cream. I love a drive through Colorado mountains on a sunny day. I love the sound of a rushing river. I love my old fuzzy slippers and a fire in winter. I love my job. I love my kids. I love my family. I love Jesus. The possibilities are endless. But only a few of those represent opportunities for real love. And of those few, all are a choice that I make. Or not.
Love is a decision followed by action.
In studying Old Testament words for love, I discovered, “AHAVA” which translates “I give”.
When we love, we give. When we give, we love. Simple. But not always easy.
We love by giving what others need, not what we want to give. It’s easy for me to give hugs because I enjoy getting hugs in return. But what if the person I’m hugging really needs space and an encouraging word? Am I willing to take the time to learn what makes others feel loved and then give them what they need?
So much of what passes as love is based in selfish desires to get something in return. Only when we give, expecting nothing in return do we truly love.
John 3:16 begins, “For God so LOVED the world, He GAVE…” (New Testament) Herein is the epitome of Love. Sacrificial giving, Selfless. No strings attached.
Giving doesn’t have to be extravagant but it will cost you something. Time. Emotion. Energy. Sleep. Tears. Sweat. We give when we take time to play catch with a son, when we wait up in wee hours of the night for a daughter to return home, when we listen to the heart of a friend, when we walk hand-in-hand with a sweetheart. We give when we pray for another or sit beside a hurting friend in silence. We give when we affirm and encourage someone. We give when we demonstrate respect even to those who don’t deserve it. We give by showing up and digging in. We give by serving even in personal exhaustion. And in all this giving, we are loving.
What will you give today? Or in essence, How will you choose to Love today? On my birthday I wanted to give you this gift, this reminder that to give is to love. I hope you’ll share this with someone you love and ask them, “How may I love you better?” Ask. And be prepared to give...