I will be the first to admit that I use the word “love” too much. “I love the stars, I love weddings, I love Chick-fil-A, I love this movie or I love that song.” When I say this, I don’t really think about the meaning behind the words. I could, in fact, replace the word “love” with “enjoy”. I could easily say “I enjoy the stars, I enjoy weddings, I enjoy Chick-fil-A, I enjoy this movie or I enjoy that song” and it would have equal meaning to me. I have come to realize that “love” has become a word that is thrown around too flippantly. It has lost its meaning. Saying “I love Chick-fil-A” and “I love you” is putting that person you care so much about on the same level as a fast food establishment.
However, saying “I love you” is something that I feel I have more trouble proclaiming. I can easily say “I love the stars” but it is difficult for me to say to someone “I love you”. I consider these words highly before I ever say them. As much as I throw the word around on an every day basis, I make sure I truly mean it before I say it to another human being. It is partly my way of guarding my heart (Proverbs 4:23). And I am grateful that at this stage in my life, I have not said it to someone and regretted it. Those whom I have said it to, I still love, and are still a part of my life.
Often times people throw the word “love” around to get something in return, whether it be love, sex, or simply companionship. A woman may feel strongly about a man, and she may tell him that she loves him (bad move ladies, wait on him to say it first) and he therefore feels obligated to reciprocate, even though he may not mean it yet. And this isn’t just limited to men. Women may feel the pressure to say it in return because they feel it will keep him around longer (this also happens with sex, but that’s a completely different blog). But let’s get something clear: simply saying the words “I love you” does not suffice. Love is a verb, it is an act of faithfulness that requires a commitment. How many couples do you know who have said those three little words to one another, and eventually broken up? Saying those words will not suffice. Love is a choice, not just an emotion. Emotions will fade, and choosing to love someone when you don’t feel like it is when true commitment takes place.
So we need to be careful about throwing around our idea of love. Maybe we don’t understand what we say; maybe our idea of love is really just “like”. Because sometimes I think we say “I love ___” and we don’t understand that it is a commitment for life. Just as Christ’s love is faithful to us no matter what we do, we should be faithful to those we love, regardless. Regardless if they hurt us, and regardless if they are not worth loving at times. We should ask God to show us how to love others like He has loved us: faithfully, regardless.
And so, in honor of love, I will post a great moment in cinematic history: