May 3, 2014 by Daniel P. Clark

Love Required?

β™₯ Love is coffee πŸ˜‰ β™₯

After she said she didn’t love her mother, I asked her if love had to be earned. She said yes. I told her that love can’t be earned, deserved, or required. Love by nature must be freely given to be genuine. She went on further to say “Then I really don’t love my mom”. This made me feel sorrow within my soul for her. Whatever the reasons, this shouldn’t occur. But it also revealed to me people don’t understand the principles behind love, or how it can logically exist. Admittedly she was young. But that’s no reason for her not to have been taught such principles. To help gain understanding on something so foundational to life.

If you build a machine and it’s sole purpose it to say “I Love You”. And it says it more then any person on the world. Does it love you? …No. If you asked a person to tell you “I Love You” and they do, does that mean they love you? …No. So love is more than words.

Now let’s think of a picture perfect love. Some one who will offer any amount of time or effort to your protection, care, betterment; to listen and sympathize with you, and even to speak the truth to you even when it’s not what you want to hear. Now in all likeliness this is a result of love, but these are possible without love. For example we can build a humanoid robot to do every single on of these behaviors, to be there for you always applying what love should be in your life. Is this love? …No.

So we can see love is more than words, and it is more then actions. It’s more then just what’s on the surface. It connects deeper within the very fiber of our beings. Love must be given from value that is, and exists within a person as an individual.

For love to be most evident:

  1. We see people have their own self interest, and value themselves highly. Their time is valuable to themselves.
  2. They willingly choose to sacrifice part of what’s important to them for your benefit. Time, giving, caring, listening, sharing.

But all in all it really comes down to how one’s heart is willfully doing the act of love. For the things portrayed as love are evidences of love. Some can fake it, most wouldn’t bother to. But it’s important to know that true love is sincere in its action and seeks no reward for oneself, but for the other.

Now love is most desirable. We are all created with the desire to be praised, loved, cherished, respected, esteemed, valued, and to have worth. And our natural bent is towards our own self interest. Which makes love a thing of effort. Because either by desire, or by humbling ones self before God, can we put our own self interest aside and uplift another thereby fulfilling the need within their life and adding value to their life.

Pride can be most destructive towards love. Because it builds ourselves up, often with putting others lower in our own psyche. But love would have us step down to lift and edify others above ourselves. Pride itself isn’t necessarily bad. But it is a fire that tends to get away from our control and consume us; leading to arrogance. So humility is seeing ourselves in proper perspective, to not think more highly of ourselves then we ought to. Being humble allows us to love others better. Please don’t confuse being humble to being timid. They are not the same thing.

So how can we know whether love is true? Well, as we have seen, the things said and done are hints/evidences of love. So to establish that, I would say, give it time. With time passing, and the evidence of love revealing itself, you can better judge for yourself whether love is true. If there are hints of things being wrong, challenge it. Speak to raise awareness in the other person that ‘this’ aspect of them reveals something in them other than love. For we naturally being self centered individuals are also so often blind to the very things we do. Whether out of habits made and long forgotten, or clarity of the action never being brought to light. Sometimes we just don’t know because it has never occurred to us, and no one has ever said anything. People get so wrapped up in their own thoughts they don’t know their autopilot actions.

Let’s take a look at the evidences of love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-9a

  1. Love suffers long and is kind
  2. Love does not envy
  3. Love does not parade itself
  4. Love is not puffed up
  5. Love does not behave rudely
  6. Love does not seek its own
  7. Love is not provoked
  8. Love thinks no evil
  9. Lovedoes not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
  10. Lovebears all, believes all, hopes all, and endures all
  11. Love never fails

These things are the fruit of love. They themselves are not love, but where love is, these will appear. The Word of God states that you shall know them by their fruit. (Mathew 7:16)

β€œFor a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:43-45

Now God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and the first two are to love. So what does that require of us to do to love? Since love can’t be forced, it must be willing. It is therefore an effort on our part to correct our hearts bent to be subject to loving God and others rather than just ourselves. Wait didn’t I start with saying that love can’t be required? Then why would I say that if the first two “commandments” from God are love? Well that’s a good question, and I would love to answer it some time soon. πŸ˜‰

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God Bless! – Daniel P. Clark


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