True Love

I decided to write about “true” love, being that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. We know that love is mentioned in the Bible a multitude of times.  The most common passage is:  1 Corinthians 13:4-5: Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, or boast, it is not arrogant, rude or proud, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrong doings.

How many of us can say we continually practice all of those verses of love?  Saying “love you“ can be overused and abused and many times is said freely without true meaning.

True love is Agape Love. (In marriage it means wanting the best for your spouse even at the expense of self). Love is unconditional and love has deep empathy. People who truly love one another don’t want the other person to hurt. They want them to feel good and make he or she feel accepted, valued, and worthy. True love means being part of a team.  True love is giving more than wanting and it never ends.  Many engaged couples are more obsessed with the wedding reception than the message that is being delivered only to be divorced in three to five years. There are couples in our community who have set a good example of being loyal and showing unconditional true love to each other.

I have come to learn that true love is a journey that takes a lifetime for married couples and through Christ’s true love for us. It keeps us together and it never ends. True love is happiness and appreciation and it doesn’t demand; it only gives.

The Bible reveals that love is an action more than a feeling or an emotion and it speaks louder than words or hypocritical deeds.  I think “true” love should be a verb rather than an adjective but should be based on actions such as: opening the car door for your spouse, filling the car with gas or cooking a favorite meal.

We read that God is love (1 John 4:8), meaning this is the defining characteristic of His nature. His selfless love was shown to us when He gave up His Son in death for our salvation. Being selfless is the most pious attribute of true love. It can’t be bought through the gifts of jewelry, new cars, etc. I am convinced that true love is shown through respect and compassion for each other in sickness and in health.

I witnessed true love when I saw my father tenderly lifting my mother, who was dying from cancer, into the bathtub and bathing her gently, never complaining. To me this was also true compassion and a tribute to his character.

One of my favorite traditions for Valentine’s Day is to watch “An Affair to Remember”.  To me, this movie reflects an example of the true meaning of love. So, if you haven’t watched this movie, have the box of Kleenex available.

I’ll close with the following story of “true love” that I found on social media.  I don’t know who the author is or even if it’s a true story. However, I choose to believe that it is.

“A man married a beautiful girl. He loved her very much. One day she developed a skin disease. Slowly she started to lose her beauty. It so happened that one day her husband left for a tour. While returning he met with an accident and lost his eyesight. However, their married life continued as usual. But as days passed, she lost her beauty gradually. Blind husband did not know this and there was not any difference in their married life. He continued to love her and she also loved him very much. One day she died. Her death brought him a great sorrow. He finished all her last rites and wanted to leave that town. A man from behind called and said, “Now how will you be able to walk all alone? All these days your wife used to help you”. He replied, “I am not blind. I was acting because if she knew l could see her skin condition due to a disease, it would have pained her more than her disease. I didn’t love her for her beauty alone, but I fell in love with her caring and loving nature. So, I pretended to be blind. I only wanted to keep her happy”.

Moral: When you truly love someone, you will go to any extent to keep your loved one happy and sometimes it is good for us to act blind and ignore one another’s short comings in order to be happy. Beauty will fade with time, but heart and soul will always be the same. Love the person for what he/she is from the inside, not from the outside.

Wishing you all a Happy “True” Valentine’s Day!