What is Love?

What is love? Love is not a feeling. Oh it may start out that way. But love shows itself in action, by what it does.

I have to disagree with the lines in a favorite movie of mine. Matt Drayton the character played by Spencer Tracey says, in ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’ ‘The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it’s half of what we felt- that’s everything.’ But it’s not all what they feel. The young couple shows their love by their actions because they’re ready to take on the world and all its prejudices to marry.

There have been many definitions over the years of what love is. There was this one, ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry.’ To me that’s as wrong as it can be. If we cannot ask for and receive forgiveness and apologize to those we love then I feel there is something wrong with the relationship. Would you agree?

Others will tell you as the song does, ‘love is just a four letter word’ and while that is true from a spelling point of view, it is not true in so many other ways. Love is so much more. My calendar today says, ‘to love someone is to seek his or her best and highest good.’ To me that’s more what love is all about.

To know love and to be loved can make all the difference in how we respond to situations and hard times in our lives. ‘One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love,’ said Sophocles, the ancient Greek playwright.

Love entails concern and care for the other person, wanting to please them and put their needs above your own, giving them our time and attention. ‘Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed,’ said John Tarrant. We need to pay attention to our spouse.

‘Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing,’ the poet, philosopher and dramatist Goethe said. But the ideal and the real should go together. As an old song once told us, ‘love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.’ In other words they belong together. But that doesn’t mean love alone is enough in a marriage. No, not unless that love is shown practically in the day to day outworking of the marriage relationship.

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