I had the privilege of growing up in the 60's and 70's, and witnessed rock and roll's evolution. "All You Need is Love" was a popular Beatles song of that era that coincided with the "summer of love," in 67'. Peace and love were two words that were re-defined, rather, misinterpreted to meaning perversion and pacifism to many people. There were good and bad ideologies that sprang from those times, embedded in our culture to this day. People did discover that real love is a need in their life, we had to then...and still have to personally define the word.
SEX, FRIENDSHIP, and LOVE
We do tend to use the word love with broad meanings, and in English dictionaries, you look up the word and discover it reveals 25 methods of defining loves meaning, being a noun, a verb, and even a tennis score. We do have words we use to express different meanings for the word love, affection, friendship, kindness, etc, but instead of using those words, we throw the word love out there knowing everyone understands what you mean. Making love is having sexual relationships. We may say we love an acquaintance that we merely like. We say we love pepperoni pizza, but we really crave it. However, the mother-child relationship, that's love. The couple who have spent a half century in devotion to each other, that is love. Giving one's self in service to others, that's love. As I understand love.
I have been questioning my love for others recently. Mainly, those I work with in recovery from addictions, the people I work with on my job, and people in general. Why I question myself, is because of my claim of following Christ, who as the example I follow, laid down His life because of His love for mankind. Would I? No. For my wife, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, country...yes. My concern is that I am not sure that I love my neighbor as myself. I know, by faith, that Christ dwells in my heart and His love is there as a result of His Spirit's indwelling, so why do I struggle with loving others?
Whoever keeps His Word, truly the LOVE of God is perfected in him. By this we know we are
in Him. 1John 2:5
Love is a fruit of the Spirit. Fruit grows. Love grows. The married couple that last til death, could tell you their love for each other grew from deep affection to total devotion. As I become more dependent upon God, I have a greater love for Him, my understanding flourishes, and my compassion for others moves from a little seed, to a huge tree, loaded with fruit. I believe, that growing in love is similar to tending a garden. Weeding and watering, fertilizing and shooing off predator, and trimming, produces a beautiful orchard. I cannot expect perfection in a day, or even a decade. If I remain focused on Him, and continue serving others in need, love will be personified through my living, Christ will be fully formed in me. All I need is love. His love.
We become confused by the way people so off-handed say, "I love you." Sometimes I want to respond, really? what do you mean by that? I do not want to question their love, but make them think. I don't need to be a word cop, so I say nothing. I feel it necessary for myself, to show I love with action, rather than say empty words. But I'm getting better, and in time, I will be able to do both.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all! Keith