It is odd. I feel that I am very well versed on love. I study it. For years, it was my biggest topic of study within the Bible. I’ve written about it. I’ve spoken about it. I even pondered, and attempted to solve, if there was a mathematical formula for love, which if solved would lead us to understanding God more completely.
Though I’ve never come close to experiencing true love, both giving and receiving it, in a romantic relationship, as God describes it. And, that is factoring in that I was even married once.
Now, if my ex-wife were to read this, she’d take no offense by the above paragraph. We’d both admit that we were young in love, young in our understanding, and young in our ability to both give and receive love. Though, she was further along than I was.
My ex once asked me, “why do you love me.” That is a question that will raise the heart rate of any man in a relationship. You have to quickly do the math on why she is asking and what she wants to hear. And, no matter your answer, you’ll likely not ace this test; no man ever has. Though, in this moment, my ex asked without pretense. It was not a test. She was curious, and, looking back, she was asking because she was not feeling loved, nor likely appreciated Nor was I.
Because You Love Me
I replied, and the first thing out of my mouth was perhaps the dumbest thing I could have said: “Because you love me.” I realized my error, and followed it up with some great romantic lines after. However, despite my best damage 101 efforts, the damage was done, and my first line was all she heard.
“That is not a reason! Your reason you love me can’t be because I love you!” She replied.
The truth was, that probably was my number one reason. And also, she was right; that shouldn’t be the number one answer. Had I flipped the question around for her to answer, there is no doubt her response would have been better, but likely also begin with superficial reasons that shouldn’t top ones list of reasons why they love someone.
But Was It Wrong To Be A Reason?
Pause please and listen to this song, and I will pause to listen to it also before writing more:
Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqiVMKJxWK0
First, what a beautiful song!
Second, did it make you think of someone? The song does make me think of someone, though not in the way the song would imply.
I would imagine, if you hear this song and think of someone, and that person thinks of you when they hear this song, you’ve got something. But, for me, no such person will think of me when they hear this song (except every one of you now because you read this blog and will forevermore think of me when hearing it haha).
…This Is Why I Love You
This strong hit me hard recently. I thought about my love maturation, my ability to give love, my ability to receive move, and my overall understanding of love. I have come a long way since the dummy who replied, “because you love me.”
I may come across as a loving person. I would say caring, empathetic, and capable of extreme and sincere unselfishness. But loving, hmm, perhaps only to a few. To a fault, it is not something I offer much, not in the way God commands us to. And, I never say it. Almost never. Not sincerely or even as a matter of speech. In fact, many of you reading this our likely my friends, that as just a social gesture saying goodbye may have once said, “love ya,” and got met with silence from me in reply. Yet, I have matured in my ability to love.
Look, I’ve got issues people. I’ll never be one to open up to many people, and truly, transparently, likely no more than one or two people. And, I won’t ever be one to show much love, or fall in love in the way most people do. Certainly, I show my care, and my love, in my own ways. Those that I love know that I do, despite me never saying it clearly.
But, despite all I said in the paragraph above, I know I am capable of complete love. Of Agape. I am capable of loving someone completely, selflessly, and as 1 Corinthians 13 lays out. I was not capable of this when I was married in my early 20’s. I was close to being capable of it in my 30s. And, in the last person I loved romantically and my most recent close friendships, I find myself fully, completely capable of it, as God calls us to Love.
My Last Love To Give
The last person I loved in a romantic sense, though not reciprocated, it really hit me; every element of how I felt and acted was aligned with the biblical definition of love, or more accurately, how I would have loved if given the indefinite opportunity. And, in discovering the true love I had to offer her, I discovered the true love I can also myself. I guess you could say, I found love through her
Being capable of that type of love shocked me. Younger me was so selfish in how I loved. I had to dive deep into myself to see…was I really loving in such a way? Because, I seemed like the most unlikely candidate to evolve into someone that could love so wholly.
This is not to say I am perfect in love, far from it. Though, just a realization that it is within me, that I am capable of loving in such a way. Some of you reading this are capable of loving in such a way. And, some of you need to be honest with yourself and realize that you are not yet capable of loving in such a way. It’s an uncomfortable truth to accept.
I will also add that, there are plenty of people “in love” in their own sense, and happy, and have long beautiful marriages. But, the love the Bible teaches, the way to love explained in 1 Corinthians 13, to love like that, that is the love I dream of. And, in a Shakespearean twist, though a love like that is something I am capable of, the door for me to experience it in a romantic sense is one I have closed.
Why The Song, “This is Why I love You, by Major, Impacts Me
It dawned on me, had I to have found my “one,” it would be someone that recognized my ability to love them in a true agape way, recognized that it was how I loved them and likely that I live out 1 Corinthians 13: verses 4-12 in how I interact with them. And, if they loved me too, and I asked them why they love me, they’d likely reply, “because you love me.” It is the greatest gift I could give to someone: my complete love, as God calls to love.
Is it wrong for one of the reasons you love someone to be, that they love you? No, not if that love is unselfish, not if that love follows 1st Corinthians 13.
May you all love, and be loved in that way. That is my prayer for you today.
And, may we all love more in this way in our relationships with family and in our friendships.