Saturday, August 06, 2005

Essay On Love

Well, I wrote this and didn't really intend on publishing it on here, but it turned out really well and I feel like sharing it with you all. I hope that it can give some of you some new ideas or direction if you need it on the subject of love:

To me, love is not an emotion, it is a decision that you make to care for somebody, to place their needs above yours, to enjoy being with them and just to be around them any time, all the time, or whatever and just love that person and give them your all. I think the emotion comes in the fruit of the decision if you follow through on it. Too many people make the mistake of thinking that the flowery emotion of a new relationship is love. I think not. I think true love is deeper than that and it’s a mutual decision to work together through any and every circumstance. Love is not the fulfillment of those things and it’s not necessarily even doing any of them. Love is deciding in your own heart that you really want to do them and you’re going to make an effort towards doing so. To love a person is really not to love them. It is to try and love them. So when I tell Liz that I love her, what I really should be saying is that I’m trying my best to love her. I mess up a lot of times and never come close to fulfilling what love in perfect form should be, but I’m working in that direction, therefore I think it’s safe to say that I do love her. I think when I first decided that I love her, it was a lot of thinking and deciding that on my own, but it was also a lot of other flowery emotion of a new relationship. Later, in the fall I thought more on it when there was less emotion involved and made sure that I still wanted to love her and that’s when I told her for the first time.

I think to make the decision to love somebody also involves defining what love means to you. It can mean a million different things depending on the people involved. For me, to love Liz is to desire to sacrifice for her and to be the best man for her that I can be. That means everyday things like opening doors for her or visiting her at work or making her dinner or helping her clean dishes. It means offering to help with larger things too, driving her places, doing errands for her and buying her dinners. It means shutting my mouth and making myself listen to what she has to say and care about her opinions. It means being there for her when she’s mad or sad or happy or whatever. It means listening without a judgmental heart towards her. It means being willing to change my plans for us when something comes up with her, and it means having a heart that is not offended when she corrects me or points out a better way that I can do something. It means lowering my pride and working in conjunction with her. And it even means giving her the personal space and respect that she needs when she requests it. To love to me also means leadership. To love Liz, it means that I need to step up into my God-given role as a man and lovingly lead our relationship. It means making small everyday decisions for us and it means making larger and even life-changing decisions for us. It does not mean making every decision. It means taking my opinion into account and Liz’s opinion into account and then being humble towards her and trying to come to a decision that is loving and takes her side into account or even lets her make the decision. It means establishing trust through wise, Godly choices that I make so that Liz will trust and want to follow my leadership. And it means leading us spiritually by leading Bible studies and prayer times and involving us in the church. A third area of what love means to me is a desire to protect. For me to love Liz is to protect her and sacrifice for her. It is to value her life over mine and to be wise in choices that I make for what we do, and where and when we do it. It is to not lead her into tempting situations. It even means at times questioning where she is going and when to make sure that she’s not unknowingly putting herself in a sticky situation. I would even say that to lovingly protect her is to have a balanced jealousy for her such that my heart warns me when I see other guys getting too close or talkative with her. Another part of love is commitment. When I choose to love Liz, I'm also choosing to be completely committed to her until our dating relationship either results in marriage or in breaking up. In marriage, it means total commitment to her no matter what happens...sickness and in health, etc, etc. Divorce is not an option. Being committed means standing by Liz in every good and bad time that we have. It means not looking at other women wrongly and it means not "weighing my options" as I date her. It means valuing her as my number one woman and my number one friend and human in this world. And it means giving her second priority (besides God) in how I spend my time. My fifth and final area of what love means to me is to lift her up and support her as the fine woman that she is. This means things like being willing to listen to her, to watch that "chick-flick", to be kind to her, to do things that she wants to do, to remind her of how beautiful she is and to give her a warm, fuzzy body to trust and cling to when need be. :-)

So, that summarizes my feelings on love. To make it simpler, I believe that loving somebody just doesn’t happen. It takes a conscious decision to love that person and that decision is an individual one in which you must decide what love means to you and how you are going to love that other person. When you make this decision and begin to follow through on loving your partner, that’s when I think that the proper emotion and feeling of true love with take foot. It won’t be the temporary, explosive emotion that most people associate with love early in a relationship. Rather, it will be a calmer, but yet happy and peaceful emotion that has large potential to last a lifetime.


Tim said...

Dude, that was very well written! Great job!

Tony said...

Very interesting -- and I think you might have hit the bullseye. You should keep this and revisit it say ten or twenty years from now, and see how love might have changed for you, what new circumstances in life have added to that love, and the difference between the love of a spouse (Liz) and the love you have for Justin Jr.