"I Love You".....
Let us look at these three words. The word "I" is fairly self explanatory. It means the person, the self, the makeup of that man or woman speaking these words. If you dig a little deeper even at this first word, you might want to find out who the I is that is sending the message. And then going further, you might want to ask exactly what kind of love they are offering.
If it is the eros love that is being offered, then you know now that it will be a sensual love, an emotional love, a love based on meeting physical needs, and once satisfied, will it commit to anything else? If it is a phileo love, then it will be more of an affection based on friendship, mutual likes or dislikes, and may be sustained longer "if" you can continue to get along and agree.
Let's face it. The above "loves" are really the only thing humans can give each other. Because the third kind of love...agape...beyond human scope kind of love. This love is a love so great that it never gets offended, it never seeks to use or abuse, it never abandons, it values the person it is given to whether they deserve it or not, and finds its origin IN the Character of Someone.
We, as humans, learn to love according to what we have seen as examples. Now, if those examples are fallen, perverted, selfish, co-dependent, demanding, disrespectful, cruel, or a host of other reasons, then we may fall into the lifestyle of loving that same way. You have heard..."children live what they learn", right? It is true. It isn't until we have something else given to us that shows another way, that we then can learn the right and proper way to receive love and to give love.
I want to list some of the practical features of God's love....agape. Whatever your current frame of mind or existing relationship is with another person at this point; use this list for yourself. Compare it with the love you are giving or receiving. I Corinthians 13 says that God's love NEVER fails. It is abiding, constant, strong, flowing, forgiving, compassionate, honest, true, pure, holy, etc. So, let me list a few of these and take a few moments today and just go through this checklist.
1. Love is not defined by the act, but by the character of God WITHIN the act.
2. Love precludes (hinders, obstructs, chokes, stops) hypocrisy or play acting.
3. Love is unselfish; not based on self-need or want.
4. Love is not conditioned on reciprocity (bartering), or calculation of repayment.
5. Love doesn't care who gets the credit.
6. Love is active; not merely passive or theoretical; love doesn't loiter.
7. Love believes, trusts and expects God to overcome all things.
8. Love is directed toward people; not things, ideas, doctrines, or principals.
9. Love of neighbor desires them to have everything you have, and more.
10. Love does not resent, want the things of others; does not meanly judge.
11. Love seeks to commend, not condemn.
12. Love is not based or conditioned on the lovability or action of the recipient.
13. Love is not fickle; it is unchanging and limitless.
14. Love does not engage in despair at the loss or absence of the person loved.
(my thoughts....this is what I experienced when my mother went home to be with the Lord. I had in my heart such a supernatural joy at knowing she was alive, well, with loved ones, and it just lifted the burden of her death from my heart).
There are more I will share tomorrow. God's love IS a bona fide reality that can change not only how we perceive love, but how we should give love. It is a anointing that protects us and gives us the kind of wisdom to recognize whether we are truly being loved or being used.
The third word "you" winds up the phrase today. Is it YOU this person is declaring their love for? Is it YOU they really want? YOU is made up of mind, will, emotions, dreams, desires, wants, needs, past, present, and future. YOU is very important to God. He wants the BEST FOR YOU! No human relationship will ever be perfect while we abide in these tents of flesh. But...when we KNOW what love is supposed to be, then is it not worth the wait to have the best we can have?
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Is it really chocolate, flowers, fancy dinners, etc. that will really meet your heart's desires? OK...I give up!! But, chocolate turns to fat. Flowers fade. Dinners force treadmill activity, and unfortunately to still wake up with that feeling of..."is that all there is?"
God offers us so much more. His Word teaches us HOW to be friends, lovers, and companions. His Love is the flower that never fades, the richness like chocolate that satisfies, and continual feast of knowing real love.