Do you know the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone? When we are younger, we think that gazing into someone’s eyes and seeing cupid’s arrow flying through the air was a sign of love. We look for the butterflies in our stomach and constant thoughts of the lucky guy running through our head.
I hate to tell you this, but that is not love. That is “in love.”
Have you ever wondered why people fall in love and out of love so easily? It’s because that is how “in love” is set up. “In love” is based on temporary conditions and situations. You may feel in love with a person because he bought you flowers or called you everyday for a week and talked to you for 3 hours. You may fall in love with a person because he did something for you that you ex-boyfriend would never do. All of that is fine and is part of being in a relationship. But a relationship should not be based on or built on such fleeting and temporary conditions. This is why do many relatinships fail. Relationships fail because they are built on sand (being in love) and not concrete (love).
So, how do you know the difference between being in love and loving someone? The best definition can be found in the bible.
When you truly love someone the way that God describes love, his overall well-being is just as important to you as your well-being is to you. You love him like you love yourself. You want to make sure that he is safe and taken care of. You accept him for who he is, flaws and all. You give him the time and space to grow in the same way you want him to give you time and space to grow. When you love someone, you know him. I mean you know him more than he knows himself. You know his likes and dislikes. You know his hopes and dreams and partner with him to manifest them. You know his fears. And instead of exploiting them, you provide a safe place for him to escape from his fears.
True love is foundational, solid, and never-fleeting. Love does not depend on external circumstances. Instead, love depends on your character, your values, and your relationship with God. God is love and displays his love towards us each and every day. This is the kind of love we all should strive for and build all of our relationships on.
Now that you know the difference between in-love and love, how does this change your view of current relationships?