Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Love of a Cynic

What does it mean to love someone?
It's a phrase that we as humans tend to over-use.

I think that if I Corinthians 13 teaches us anything, it's that "love is a verb" - loving others is a conscious choice and effort we have to make. It's not just based about how sentimentally or warm and fuzzy we might feel about someone else.

Now this action of love will look different for the different kinds of love we have for people, and for the different people we love. Age old friendships will be different than romantic love, and family members to whom you're committed to loving might get different treatment from that brand new crush you've developed. Also, not everyone will appreciate a love that lavishes gifts, and some people really don't find love in a comforting hug. The love languages are a good way to break that aspect of love down. You can find out more about that here. I find it terribly interesting and have been known for making people take the quiz. Apologies if you have been subjected to this.

Sometimes I ask myself though - if someone says the words "I love you," but never display that in any other way, what does that really mean?(No, saying "I love you" once a month doesn't exactly count as words of affirmation.) Should I even bother to care that they "love" me? This sounds selfish - I know.

But it hurts. When I love, I try to love with everything. Words to encourage, actions to serve, hugs and just being close to someone, taking the time to do things they like to do, and giving gifts. I know I'm not perfect at this - not at all. But I sure try to at least do something to SHOW my love - if I'm not going to try, I don't say "I love you."

It just makes me want to curl up in a dark corner when people tell me "I love you" and don't do any of these things. It makes me wonder what it really means for them to say that.

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