Love indeed is all encompassing! The book of 1 Corinthians gives the best definition of what love is and isn’t. I have come to love The Message translation of the Bible – it gives a whole new understanding to God’s word, and it breaks it down so much that even an unlearned person has no excuse to not understand the words.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7- The Message (MSG)
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Aren’t the words above just beautifully written? So let’s break it all down;
Love NEVER gives up: It is sad to note that “giving up” is what happens 99% of the time we claim to love someone. It seems to be one of the easiest things to do, when things aren’t going “our way,” when we aren’t getting what “we want”. We just up and go like it never happened. For instance, a man saying “I love my wife and kids; I just couldn’t go through all the stress in the house, so I left.” What??? How do you find the courage to leave something or someone you love? When love comes through deep friendship, you develop love for that person just as they are, with no unnecessary expectations; you just love them as they are and would rather change you to suit that thing in them that you naturally would have wanted them to change.
Love cares more for others than self: Love isn’t selfish – it doesn’t coyly or forcefully take something the other person doesn’t want to give. You don’t claim you love someone and coyly, cunningly pester someone or guilt trip them for sex, money, commitment etc. I’ve had young girls talk to me about how their “boyfriends” kept disturbing them for sex and then telling them they would break up with them because they aren’t willing to give it. Then there are the cases of girls threatening a guy for money, and giving an ultimatum to quit the relationship if he doesn’t provide the money. Is that really what love is? It’s quite obvious a lot of people have different yet interesting definitions of love.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have: Simply put, “Love is not greedy.” It’s rather ironic considering the fact that this is the order of the day in relationships and marriages. It means as a lady, if you cannot readily afford to buy that Cambodian hair you’ve had your eyes on, then you shouldn’t go pressuring and frustrating others just to get it. Often time, greed leads to a whole lot of other sins: lies, manipulation, covetousness, anger, bitterness etc. If you DON’T have it and CAN’T afford it then you have no business wanting it.
Love doesn’t strut: I particularly love the translation given by dictionary reference; it defined the word “Strut” as “to walk with a vain, pompous bearing, as with head erect and chest thrown out, as if expecting to impress others.” Wow, what a definition! I bet without much explanation you already get the point, but since I just oh so love to explain, I will do just that. Love isn’t proud and doesn’t regard itself higher, better or more important than others. Love often brings with itself a great humility and sense of service – anything aside from this, is definitely not love.
Love doesn’t have a swelled head: This is almost close to the above, but slightly different. Merriam-Webster defined “swelled head” as an “exaggerated opinion of self.” The synonyms are surely self-explanatory: big head, conceit, egotism, pomposity, pride, self-conceit, self-glory, smugness, vainness etc.
Wow! This sure sums it all up. So if you don’t possess one or more of the attributes on this list, then you are not practicing love.
About the Writer: Eniola Adeniji is a woman after God’s own heart, a motivational Writer, Speaker, Fashion and Photography addict. She is also a Business Developer, Social Media Manager and the founder of Woman Of Value. She blogs at ennmae.wordpress.com