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!
Travis was rescued from death. Literally. Estimated to be about 7 months old when he was found at a construction site, Travis was so sick they didn’t think he would survive the night. He had hookworms that had drained most of his lifeblood from him. He had an injury to his left eye that left a cloudy ulceration. He couldn’t lift his head. He received transfusions for 3 days. For weeks, he wouldn’t even open his injured eye. He was kept in isolation since he was weak and couldn’t see very well. He was given food and water, vitamins, eye-drops, worming medication. He began to recover. He willingly took his vitamins and sat very still for his eye-drops. Given any opportunity to snuggle up to his rescuer, he did. He craved attention.
I first saw his picture on the PUPS website. I was hooked. I talked to his caregiver and got the information she had: his estimated age, his size and temperament with other dogs, and his house training. I found out that Travis would be neutered on Tuesday and available for adoption the following Saturday. I was at the Petsmart that Saturday to meet him as soon as they were setup. And I took Travis home with me that day.
Travis is now called Beauregard (Beau for short). It didn’t take him long to make himself at home with our other fur-babies. His eye is healed and after a few visits with the vet, he’s up to date on all of his shots and worm free. He has a tag with his name and my phone number on it as well as a microchip, so he cannot be lost. He is a little ball of energy. He rolls and plays with the other dogs. Every morning, after his potty break outside, he comes back to my room to find me. I can hear his tags tinkling together as he runs down the hall and comes and lays at my feet. When I call his name, he rolls over and wiggles in anticipation of the belly rub he’s about to receive. I pick him up and cuddle him and get my morning kisses and then he’s off to breakfast.
Beau reminds me how I should react to time with my Father. I was saved from death by the blood of my Savior. He has taken care of me and prepared me for life in this harsh world. It is through God’s loving care that I have survived the grievous events in my life. I allow the world to suck the very life out of me. I struggle to see where I am headed. But, I don’t always go to my loving Father with excitement, anticipating His loving attention. Many times, I’m distracted by other “things” in my life. I don’t have time or I’m sure I can handle this one myself. I forget to spend time with Him.
But, He comes to my rescue, time and time again. And I remember His tenderness and His love. My name is engraved in His book of life. I will never be out of His sight. I realize that it is time with my Heavenly Father that I crave. I spend time in His word. I pray and listen for His guidance. And, yes, I beg, plead, cry and complain about all that is “unfair” with my life. He’s always there to correct me when I’m wrong, to provide for my every need and to always love me.
It took a squirmy, cuddly rescued puppy to remind me that I just have to go to God. He’s waiting with every thing I can need or imagine.
I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart,
I’m writing the book on your wonders.
I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;
I’m singing your song, High God.
Psalm 9:1-2 MSG