We search for love. We yearn for love. Sometimes, we fear love. In Greek, there are four types of love:
- Agapeo: Unconditional love; the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation
- Storge: Love of family; Parent/child, siblings, cousins, etc. In a very close family, agape is felt as well
- Phileo: Love between friends
- Eros: The sense of being in love; romantic love
For me, love is everything. I believe that the God I serve is Love. I love my children and my family. I have several wonderful friends for whom I care deeply. I have been blessed with the love of two wonderful men. So, when someone asks how I knew that I loved my husband, why is it so difficult to describe?
There are lots of sayings about love:
- Love is a many splendor thing
- Love means never having to say you’re sorry
- Love is something you do
- Love is natures way of tricking people to reproduce
- Love means to give everything you have…and not expect anything in return
- Immature Love is: I love you because I need you.
Mature Love is: I need you because I love you.
- Love is making yourself vulnerable to someone, while fully knowing that they may betray you.
- Love is blind
- Love is never-ending
There is truth is all of the above statements. But still, what do we want from love? Safety, security, companionship? What?
These are the things about deep and abiding love that I think you just don’t want to miss!
- Love is a choice. We don’t “fall in love”, rather we it’s probably more accurate to say we “fall in like” or even “in lust”. We’ve all experienced crushes. Those moments of elation when you just get to be near the object of your desire. Your heart beats a little faster. You just can’t imagine anything better. Sometimes, crushes lead to relationships. But, crushes fade away. As the vision clears, you begin to see the real person. You can choose to really love them or you move on to the next phase. Choosing to love someone completely is wonderful.
- Love is hard work. Anything that involves more than one person requires work. A commitment to love and honor another person is a daily thing. It means you don’t always get want you want, so you both sacrifice. When you truly love someone, you look for ways to make their life more complete.
- Love doesn’t make you happy. You may be married to most wonderful person in the world and still be unhappy. If you are depending on someone else to fulfill you and make you happy, you will NEVER find happiness. While many of us find happiness in relationships, we have to choose to be happy. Many solid marriages end in divorce because one or both of the people involved were no longer happy. Love is working through the unhappiness while still honoring the other person.
- Love doesn’t “complete” you. You are the person God made you to be. You are not 1/2 a person. You are full and complete. You may find someone and become half of a couple, but that person will never complete you.
- Love is never-ending, and it is also ever-changing. The love I have for my husband has deepened since we married two years ago. My heart still races when I think about him. But, our relationship is evolving as we have learned to live together. We learn things about each other every day. There are new insights, new irritants, new joys and new challenges with every day.
I guess if I had to tell another woman what to look for in love I would say:
- Look for the man who will take care of you. I am pretty self-sufficient. But, I really like it when my husband opens doors and pulls out my chair for me. (Admittedly, I’ve had to learn to wait and allow him to do so!) I enjoy the flowers that he buys at the grocery store for me. It’s comforting when he intervenes to protect me from activities that will cause me pain (both emotionally and physically.) He has shown me how very much he cherishes me. I do not have to “make” him do things.
- Find the man who is interested in a partnership. I can be very bossy. So can my husband. But, in our marriage, neither of us is “the boss”. To do lists are general things that need to be done by either of us, they are not specific to either. There are things that I do well and there are things that are his strong suit. We try to bring out the best in each other.
- Focus on the man who you cannot live without, not just someone you can live with (tolerate). Deep and passionate love with get you through many intolerable situations. There have been many people I could “live with” that have come and gone in my life. But, the ones that I could not imagine doing life without have been very few.
- Consider the man who will honor you and wait for you until after the wedding vows. In today’s world, we’ve come to accept sex as a part of dating. Very few people get married without having already taken a “test drive” of sorts. There is something extremely special about being worth the wait and sealing your wedding commitment on your wedding night.
- Pay attention to the man who helps you feel secure and safe. Being able to speak your mind and hear his opinions without fear is important. Knowing that you are loved unconditionally is priceless.
I cannot imagine life without my husband, Tim. I have experienced the death of a spouse and the pain of that loss was excruciating. I promised myself that I would never allow anyone close enough to cause that much pain ever again. But, God had a different plan and I am so very thankful for that!