21 Nov 2013

The Loving of Another

Submitted by Stephen Winters

What is true Love? How can I Love another in a way that she "feels" loved? First, we need to define what we mean by love. There are two aspects of love. There is "Love given" and "Love received" Let's take a look at the first:

"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 Cor 13:4-8a

We can only truly give what is inside us, that which is a true part of our inner character. Anything else is just contrived for the sake of our "want" of the moment.

True Love is not about some one time thing that we do or give. Rather, true Love is about changing who we are on a permanent basis. True Love is about us putting to death all the selfish and base parts of ourselves and becoming "patient, kind, non-envious, humble, honoring of the other, calm, truthful, protecting, trusting, perseverent" as an integral permanent part of our new nature.

Much of what is given out as "love" falls woefully short of true Love. It is nothing more than lust in disguise. We give the other person some trinket, flowers, etc. because we want something from her. We want something back from her or we want her to make us feel good about what we gave her.

Lust is focused on me, about what "I" want and how "I" feel in the moment. Love is not dependent on receiving anything from another, but is focused on benefiting and serving "others", it's about what I can give (of myself) to my "beloved". If I only give love when I "feel" loved, then that too is lust.

Then we have to take is a step further. We are to love (treat others kindly etc. (1 Cor. 13) in a way that makes the other feel loved. This requires knowledge of the other. We often try to "love" the other person in a way that we want to be 'loved' (momentarily pampered), but the other is left empty. WE are upset because our 'love' wasn't accepted, this shows that our love wasn't pure. This also was lust on our part, because, even in giving, our focus was on US giving, not on what the other person needed. True love is based upon true knowledge of what the other person needs and then acting on it.

 

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