What Is Love?

What Is Love?

For many of us, February is focused on LOVE. Throughout our life, the meaning of LOVE deepens with myriad connections, from childhood with Valentine lollipops, to teen years with a series of Valentine cards of loving words and for the very lucky, a long relationship built on mutual care with a best friend.

Perhaps it is time we consider LOVE in action, for more than the fuzzy feelings inside, it is a powerful force that springs us to act, to do. Most recently, thousands who were inspired by Kobe Bryant demonstrated acts of LOVE. Folks from all walks of life gathered together to share their LOVE as they grieved, crying, holding each other, even strangers, with tears from every eye. These folks showed LOVE—caring in action. LOVE is more than what we feel; it is what we do. LOVE is a verb, and action, more than the name of our feelings.

True love is unconditional, given freely, with no expectation of anything in return. Interestingly, many discover in self-reflection that in order to truly love someone, something or even an idea, one must first take care of self, for without love of self, it is not possible to put LOVE into action. Basic self-care ensures healthy eating, exercise, passion for what matters most to us and ensures we have the physical strength, inner stamina and spiritual bonds that make us whole, caring beings. Care for oneself is required, in order to care for others, at the highest level of LOVE in action.

In the Christian faith, LOVE is best defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 as a work of startling simplicity, that strikes the very heart of our being. LOVE is patient. LOVE is kind. LOVE does not envy. LOVE does not boast. LOVE is not proud. LOVE does not behave rudely. LOVE is not self-seeking. LOVE thinks no evil. On this foundation, we can measure our love, using benchmarks of true love.

LOVE is permanent; it always overcomes and it always wins out in the end. LOVE will always persevere. So, let’s remember that LOVE is a verb. In February and throughout the year, put LOVE into action, and master it well.