Inspired by a friend’s question: his exact post is in italics.
Open discussion post: What does it mean to you to be “in love” with someone?
Do you use that term, and if so, what’s the differentiation between loving someone and being in love with someone. For the sake of discussion, let’s presume romantic interest / attraction – so we’re not just comparing “I love my friends” to “I’m in love with my spouse”, per se. ================
The “in love” phrase leads me to think of the romantically interested in pursuing the relationship with the person even deeper. Feeling like you want to spent every minute just being with them.
However, when it comes to the general defining of loving someone I think there are degrees of love. We who speak English [even foreign accented LOL] are at a distinct disadvantage to other foreign languages like Greek which had at least 3 different words to immediately distinguish which degree of love was meant.
Kindness, friendship, caring, brotherly love, empathetic and sympathetic, nurturing, enticing and even passionate and explosive — we are dependent on adjectives to help us define our love, are we?
Nevertheless, IMHO “Love” at it’s utmost is wanting to do absolutely anything in my ability and within the realm of my moral beliefs for another person’s benefit, even if it means that I must sacrifice something of myself in order to bestow that benefit.
My perfect definition may seem like a cop-out to a lot of people, but I truly believe “God IS Love”. And Jesus Christ lived as the perfect example. So the more closely I adhere to the practice of treating others as God does, the more loving I am. Obviously, that doesn’t discount that there is an exclusive expression and bonding that I share with my husband that is of a deeper love than any other human. That is a wonderfully unique fulfillment of the “two shall become one” kind of love that God tells of in the Scriptures.
When we were “falling in love” I think we were infatuated with the feelings of drawing closer together as we saw that the other may truly be the life mate that God intended for us. I believe that we enjoyed being “in love” with one another because we were truly thankful for how the very presence of this loved one made us feel — fulfilled, happy, joyful, “on cloud nine”, tingly, understood, attractive, wanted, needed and cared for.
Steve and I recently celebrated twenty-five years of marriage after dating exactly four years prior to our wedding day. I can honestly say that I am still “in love” with this wonderful man. We have not always had the warm fuzzies for each other, each and every second of those years. However, I can absolutely say that I am more in love with him today than I was when I first met him!
When first dating we all have our best foot forward with fine clothes and dress, hair and makeup all set. Yet, to me personally, that is an external show that anyone can see. Much deeper love comes from peeling that aside and allowing the other person to enter into our inner selves. The transparency that we give to a loved one draws us closer together. Yet it is this act of opening ourselve up, that exposes us not only to deep hurt, but the opportunity for greater love. True sharing of ourselves with another.
After we communicate the acknowledgements of shortcomings, the need for and grantings of forgiveness, and meeting and surpassing trials ; all of these hurdles have helped to grow our love even deeper because we cling to the true love that comes from God.
God promised in His Word that ALL things that come into our life would work together for our good. Not that each thing that comes into our life is guaranteed to be a good thing at the time. But, that we could trust that it would work out to be for the better. God promised that He would NEVER leave nor forsake us. He loves us so much that there is absolutely nothing that any person, thing, or power can do to separate me from His love. And that includes any stupid things that I do myself which might mess things up! Hallelujah!
Therefore, my answer to what does it mean to “be in love,” is that there is no other person which I would want to be with more, to please more, and to know even more. There is no one else that I can trust with my secrets, shortcomings and fears as much as this person who I am deeply in love with. And finally, when I am not able to be with this loved one in person, I ache with the longing to be with them again.
I’D REALLY VALUE YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS <3
I have chronic pain and chronic fatigue which means I quite often am not allowed by my body to do what “normal” people can do. I understand what the apostle Paul said about buffeting his body, as I regularly must force myself to keep moving when my body literally wants to shut down. Lately, the fatigue has really brought my daily functioning to a prolonged low.
I’m reminded that God uses even me as a “weaker vessel”. Not that I would chose to be weak and unable to be more productive by man’s standards. No way! Like the Apostle Paul asking to have his “thorn in the flesh” removed, God has chosen to not miraculously remove my affliction. Maybe it is to protect me from the sin of pride through accomplishment in my own power. Whatever the reason, I have seen how God can use me this way; flaws and all. For I KNOW it is nothing that I am bringing to the table. It is truly ALL God.
As it says in the Bible: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB) 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness ” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
One of my all-time favorite attitude adjuster verses is Phil.4:8-9.
“Whatever things a true, honorable, righteous, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent or worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
I do hope I quoted that correctly, I have memorized it by using the memory minder “THoRP L GREWP”.
So, when I get discouraged by a situation, or set of circumstances, I purpose in my heart to look for the good. It IS there somewhere. I run through the list and go treasure hunting.
I want to end today’s post with some words from a favorite hymn called Take My Life and Let It Be “Take my life and let it be; consecrated, Lord, t0 Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
I may not have much, but what I do have is all yours, Lord!
Hmmm… I just got a great inspiration from friends Jamie and Terri talking on the radio. They were listing their top five things that they think they spend too much money on. Chocolate!! Why do chocolates cost so much? Because we can’t grow our own.
That got my imagination moving into overdrive. Wonder if we could grow our own chocolates? Wouldn’t that be great? Come on ladies, are you with me here? Imagine with me just for fun.
You’d take your seeds of Nestle (TM) Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and place them in a shallow furrow of prepared earth. Of course once you’d placed the seeds in the ground you would carefully mark the row with a dusting line of white powdered sugar so that you could consistently “water” for best production. And we would fertilize with Hershey’s (TM) Cocoa Powder every two weeks for increased flavor.
Naturally, we would not use real H2O. Oh no! We would be “watering” with Hersheys (TM) Dark Chocolate Syrup. We must water at least twice a day until the seedlings start to sprout to a height of two inches when we would thin the row to ensure larger healthier plants. Just go ahead and eat those little seedlings, they are delicious and full of fiber and NO calories. I only grow the best, guilt free variety, you know.
Is your mouth watering yet? As maturation takes place it is important to watch for unwanted weeds like those pesky rice crunchies and invasive almonds. Oh no you don’t!! This is a pure, rich, melt in your mouth, smooth crop of chocolate we are working on here. Pull those invasives from the roots and chuck them outta there!
Now, remember, our chocolate plants are a “cool weather” crop. Trying to grow them in the months of July and August can easily result in a sticky, melty mess. Fortunately, the chocolate plants are unattractive to the Japanese beetles and slugs that take out so much of the rest of the garden. So, I say, let’s forget about the lettuce and the brocolli and grow ONLY chocolate with a few tomatoes, sweet corn and melons filling in during the hot months.
The nice thing about growing my imaginary chocolate plants is the idea of strolling out into my garden and eating fresh from the garden!! YOU know what I mean. When the true farmer strolls out into the garden to bring in a harvest, one of the perks of the job is eating some of the crop before it even hits the harvesting basket! Oooooh, la la!
Now, dear friends, you know that God chose to start man’s life in a garden. You tell me… what more heavenly garden can there be than a garden full of chocolate? Thanks for coming on this little diversion in divinity with me, it’s always good to share. Anybody else having a chocolate craving?