Attitude 5: The Truth About Love

Attitude 5: The Truth About Love

9Attitudes_05Love

Love is a tricky, tricky emotion. Even when you think you’ve got it figured out, it’ll still surprise you with its depth, its reach, its influence, and its strength. There’s a reason why it’s the greatest, most powerful, most eternal emotion of them all.

1cor1313Faith and Hope may be powerful, but Love will outlast even them. But can you learn to love when you’re single? Can you really understand love when you’re alone, or do you need to be in a relationship before you truly grasp the concept of loving someone else?

Honestly, I think that mindset dooms relationships before they even begin. You don’t have to be in a relationship before you understand love. It’s the other way around.

Our world and our culture loves love. Love is revered as the ultimate emotion. Even people who scoff at God understand that life isn’t worth living without love, but ask people to define Love, and you’ll get many different answers.

People generally treat love as a feeling. They identify love as the way someone else’s actions make them feel. I’ve recently been doing a lot on Pinterest, mainly because I’ve been told that it’s a good platform for spreading the word about blogging content, which is something I desperately need right now (not going to lie). And while there are so many beautiful touching quotes all over Pinterest (and yummy recipes too), there are many quotes and statements about Love that are just… wrong.

Romance, Warm Fuzzies, and Love

Love and romance aren’t the same thing. Love and warm fuzzies aren’t the same thing. Yes, of course, when you love someone, warm fuzzies are usually involved. But love doesn’t stop there, and it doesn’t begin there either.

The very plain truth about love is that it’s impossible.

Love is sacrificing for others. It’s unconditional esteem regardless of how someone has behaved in the past. It’s forgiving people who’ve hurt us. It’s doing good for our enemies.

1 Corinthians 13 is the definitive chapter on Love in the Bible. If you want to know what real love is, that’s where you should look.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Does anything in that list sound like it comes with warm fuzzies? No way.

Love is hard. It tears you up inside. It lifts you up in joy, yes, but most of the time you end up flat on your face because someone you love let you down. Love means you’ll be disappointed. Love means you’ll be hurt. Love means you’ll be so incredibly angry and desperate to hurt the one you love in return, but you have to choose to forgive them anyway.

The very plain truth about love is that it’s impossible.

Love is impossible.

I’m not strong enough to love people, not really, not according to this definition of love. That’s why I need God in my life. With God, all things are possible, even Love.

Ultimately, Love is being selfless, which means that you live for others. You don’t hold their mistakes against them. You treat them with kindness even if they don’t deserve it. You never give up, never lose faith, and always hold on to hope, even when everyone else says it’s over.

That’s Love.

Granted, in some situations, couples have to learn Love together. They need each other to stop focusing on themselves. But what I’ve discovered is that learning to love selflessly as a single person makes relationships easier in the long run.

9Attitudes_05Love_pinnableNobody’s perfect, and everyone has a black, sinful heart. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s the truth. At our core, human beings are bad. We want what we want. We focus on ourselves. We strive for ourselves and no one else. We’d like to think we’re good and honorable, and maybe we can maintain that illusion for a little while. But no one can maintain it indefinitely. We’re all broken.

With God, all things are possible, even Love.

But God works best with broken things. And in the end, marriage is just two broken people living broken lives together, and the only one who can help them survive it is God. But how much better would it be to recognize your brokenness while you’re single? How much emotional trauma would you save yourself and your future spouse if you can learn to truly love selflessly before you begin a relationship?

You may be single right now, and maybe you’re meant to stay single. That’s not for me (or you) to say. But that doesn’t mean this season in your life is useless or worthless. Learn to live selflessly while you’re single, because when you add a spouse into the relationship, it only gets more complicated.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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