To love or not to love

        A lot of people have asked what love is. Over the years I have questioned the definition and practice of Love. It dawned on me that my idea of love was loosely/unconsciously based on my emotions/feelings. Of course sometimes, these feelings can go overboard and you think “oh, I am in heaven, I am soooo in love”, and it can be so non existent that you say “I don’t like him like that, I am not feeling him”. I was minding my business the other day when these thoughts started coming to me;

       Love is not feelings and emotions, it is a commitment. It is a responsibility to do something which you would normally not be able to do. When your feelings and emotions control your definition of love, you get sidetracked or even deceived. When your love is based on your feelings/emotions, you are restrained from doing a lot of things which you could do if you loved unconditionally.

        For instance, you won’t be able to love your enemy cos you don’t have feelings for them. When your love is based on feelings/emotions, you will wake up and say you don’t love your children or spouse cos you don’t have feelings for them any more. I have heard wives/husbands or children who claim they don’t like their parents or partners, they claim they have fallen out of love or they are not attracted to them any more. Love is beyond attraction, love is a commitment.

        You won’t be able to love God fully until you go beyond feelings. Sometimes in dealing with God, you may not feel him as you wish. You may go about your duties expecting to have some emotional attachment, but when you don’t find them, you begin to question the love of God.

       Biblical love is given freely, it is not based on something the other person has done, this is what God demonstrated when he sent his son to die for us…..while we were still sinners, or better still his enemies.

        Past hurts, mistrust, doubts or just looking around your environment and seeing the filth in people can make you flee from loving anyone, but we were given a mandate to love and that’s what we should do. The great book (aka bible) summarized all the commandments in one sentence “love”. Love God and love your neighbors as yourself. In other words, you have to be able to love yourself to be able to love your neighbor in the same manner. Some people do not love themselves or they have forgotten how. Some have lost regard for themselves and personalities. Some have lost who they are, but there’s still hope for anyone like that. You can always retrace your step.

      You have to love God, love others/neighbors/enemies/friends/colleagues and of course love yourself. To determine how to do that, I went back to the definition of love as written in 1 cor. 13.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

         Trying to do everything at once had been my Achilles heel, until I learned to take it one day, one step at a time. I embarked on a journey of discovery where I went each day with the intent of practicing one word from the verses above; On the first day, I decided I was going to teach myself how to love by being patient with God, with myself and with anyone who came my way. The next day I picked on kindness; I am going to be kind to myself and to people around me.

        In the process of this exercise, I had to cut down some excesses, I learned to be patient and I found it very rewarding. Now I know that my love is not based on what you can do for me or how I feel about you, rather it is based on my commitment to God; it is based on my responsibility to love unconditionally. To love irrespective of the response and to love even when I don’t feel like it or when you are so unlovable.

                  My words, my views, my style! Naijagirl©2009

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 1:46 am  Comments (19)  

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19 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hmm…. well said.. Love at tis most consistent is a pragmatic, consistent decision to go the distance. There may or may not be butterflies – the butterflies add to the enjoyment – but the butter flies do not define love i think..

  2. @Danny….yeah, I used to think the butterflies defined the love, but I have learned its beyond that. Getting butterflies is a bonus, but its not the main deal

  3. Love is a definite committment; you hit the nail on the head in my opinion. I’m very good at loving the people close to me, through the good and the bad, but when it comes to people out there that I don’t really know well, I am polite, but I don’t think I show as much love as I could.

    The passage you shared will be a great place for me to start, and I’ll follow your plan to practice all those elements of what love is. Wish me luck! 🙂

  4. @GNG…, I wish you all the luck you will need and more. the trick is to take it one day, one word at a time; dont try to be superman by learning all the words in one day.

  5. I like to look at Love also as a DEBT. We continuously owe each other this debt. It’s a daily debt. We need to repay it daily. I owe you, you owe me. I particularly like the verse 7 in your write-up(Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres)

    Romans13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

    That’s my huge debt

    Great piece again NG!!

    • Oh Ochuko, I love how you put it “Do not pile up your debts, make a payment plan”; has given me another food for thot. thanks

  6. God bless you plenty plenty plenty

  7. The topic that continues to defy reasoning……….LOVE!

  8. loving this post!
    And i totally agree with u and DB that butterflies do not equate to love as many young readers think. Commitment!
    Goog job! and wise……. 🙂

  9. Right right you are. Love is a choice and it takes a strong mind to really love unconditionally even when it is the most difficult thing to do.

  10. bless u for this definition of love…and I’m challenged by that exercise u embarked on; think I’m going to consciously try it out…cheers

  11. Love na d main thing.

    It amazes me how love works. Anyway, d world was made by Love, made in love, made for love, made with love…Love is all that matters

  12. I sure am glad to find someone else that believes in loving unconditionally
    And you are damn right- Love IS a commitment!
    I especially like 1 Cor 13:5- the part that says “Love is not self seeking”…
    Nice one girl!

  13. It truly is a commitment. A decision. I decide today to love…not everybody oh…just

  14. @Ochuko…..Love covers all offenses; Love never fails.Every other gift will cease in heaven, but love is still something we shall need there. Thanks
    @Rita…lol, thank you and God bless you too
    @Crazythots…Now, when I think of it, its not really that hard to crack open. Human erected a wall around the word “love” and tried to complicate while claiming its complicated.
    @Tigeresss…thanks. Butterflies is good, but love is more than butterflies.
    @Nice anon… most things in life, love is a choice. We have the choice to love or not to, nevertheless, we have been given the mandate to love. I recall hearing that word for the first time when my pastor told the congregation that his son just did his wedding the day before. it was a rush rush wedding cos the son got someone pregnant. The pastor was practically in tears but he kept repeating “I love my son, I love my so unconditionally”. the seed of unconditional love was sown in my heart at that point.

  15. @Doyin….thanks, bless you too. Its a rewarding exercise, you will be surprised at what you will discover about yourself. I wish you all the best with the exercise.
    @Jesusfreak….true, true, true. I love how you coined it in your second paragraph
    @CLG….thanks my dear. When one can get a grasp of love, it is a good journey to embark on. Why love half heartedly when you can love fully or unconditionally, and yes, love should not be selfish
    @Afrobabe….lol, you this girl sef, you no go kill persin. Loving that one person is a first step, na softly softly. I wish yu the best with the plan

  16. love is the koko..
    love the way you took the subject apart..
    remain blessed

  17. hmm well written..

    not sure if i have been here before…will check out ur other posts

  18. @Simeone…could that be D banj’s koko? thanks
    @aloted….thanks and thanks for stopping by

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