What is Love?

SAP ALERT!!! This might get mushy. Valentine’s Day is soon upon us and luckily Ronnie and I both agree it’s a pretty worthless holiday. Other than being a fun holiday for Skyler to have a party at preschool and exchange fun cards for her classmates, we won’t make a big deal out of it. We just had Christmas, and my birthday, and Ronnie’s isn’t that far away; there is absolutely no need for either of us to buy each other something just to show our love on a certain day. We’ve used it as an excuse for a date in past years, because it’s always nice to get out together, but this year that just isn’t in the plans.

I went out of town by myself this weekend to visit two girlfriends, and we talked about our relationships as girls do. Sometimes it’s complaining, sometimes it’s bragging, sometimes it’s just sharing the silly stories of stupid things our husbands do that make us laugh. It was great, and having those conversations reminds me how thankful I am for my husband. Being away for a night, with two and a half hours driving by my lonesome both ways gives me time to think, all the while enjoying the many satellite radio stations Ronnie got me for Christmas. I heard many “love songs” along the way – some I related with and some got me thinking – this world has really messed up the meaning of love.

Skyler says love is “hugs and kisses and hearts.” As cute as it is, she doesn’t know yet either, or at least can’t put it into words. Love isn’t Valentine’s Day. Love is definitely not chocolate and roses and romance. It isn’t a feeling – not butterflies in your stomach when you think of a special someone. It isn’t passion either. Love is not wedding bliss, and diamonds aren’t even worthy of it. It’s not something that happens to you or that you find. It isn’t compatibility or soul mates. While all the things I just said it isn’t might lead up to love, they are not love. Love is a decision, and by definition, a promise.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I love Ronnie and I love Skyler. While I do not even remotely succeed at living love by the italicized definition above, it is the ruler which I measure myself against. If I ever question my love for them in a moment of anger, boredom, frustration, or other distraction, I should always think back to that verse to get me back to love. It’s up there with Faith and Hope, things you choose to do, but Love is the greatest of them all. I wonder how different this world would be if everyone guided their actions toward the ones they have chosen to love by that definition?

Love is on my mind, this Valentine’s Day, and reading the verse above, I am refreshed and energized to try harder to do more of that. So maybe the holiday is good for something after all.

My leisurely trip turned into more – having that time alone and away to think really put some things in perspective for me. I couldn’t wait to get home Saturday and hug Ronnie and Skyler and just spend the day with them. We lounged around on the couch in our jammies, the three of us, nearly all day. It was simple, it was home. It was a little piece of our love.

1 Corinthians 13

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