Nicholas Sparks’ the Notebook depicts a love story so awe inspiring that every three months or so, I search the confines of my basement for my aging DVD [Kleenex in hand] and pay the love story the respect it deserves. Love is a tricky little matrix however, and doesn’t always manifest itself quintessentially as that shared between the iconic Noah and Allie. On the one day a year where love is publically esteemed I think it’s only fitting to explore an accurate definition of this binding term. Mainstream definitions of love tend to portray dysfunction as exciting and conventional. Soo conventional that society seems to be immune to infidelity and other behavior that contradicts it. Is it really love that caused NBA superstar Kobe Bryant to cheat on his wife of 10 years, or was it love that caused a husband by the name of Eric McLean to murder his infidel wife’s 18 year old lover. Definitions have been and remain distorted. Why are we so willing to accept that if we’ve found romantic love, it will hurt a little and that it’s up to us who have found it to decide who we are willing to endure the hurt for. The day to day offers enough opportunity for hurt that in LOVE shouldn’t be where we have should settle to find it. From a girl who’s been “guilty your honour” of mistaking dysfunction for love — using it’s ever so sacrificial name in vain, I’ve figured out it’s true fruit bearing signs. Using 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as the guide let’s ask ourselves some honest questions and see where we arrive! For the sake of this post, let’s touch on romantic love — Here are the signs of love and the questions we should be asking ourselves:
1. Love is patient — Does your partner compromise? When you’ ve done something of distaste to your partner — are they quick to hurl out curse words and storm out of the room? Does your partner seek and live to de-escalate a squabble or the reverse?
2. Love is kind — Is your union carry a pleasant or heart-heavy vibe? Does your partner sacrifice for the betterment of your relationship? Is your partner concerned about your emotional concerns even if they cannot relate?
3. Love does not envy — Is jealousy an explicit part of your relationship? Is your partner possessive when it comes to you? Do they dictate where you can go, when you can go, and who should be there? Are you tormented for your accomplishments that may surpass those of your partner?
4. Love does not boast, It isn’t proud — Is your partner arrogant about their position in the relationship? Do they taunt and tease about having an upper hand [wearing the pants]? Is inflating their ego the only thing that seems to be of interest to them?
5. It is not easily angered — Does your partner get angry more than they are pleasant? Is anger the default emotion they result to when misunderstood?
6. Keeps no records of wrong — Are you always reminded of your past mistakes in your relationship?
7. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth.
8. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres?
In all things there is a balance – God created this world and it’s people to need and desire equilibrium. The Bible says that you’ll know someone based of the fruit they produce Matt 7:16 — meaning that you will be able to identify someone and the qualities within them by their behavioural constants. This consistency is an accurate indicator of character. If your partner shows love 20% of the time vs. an 80% contradiction to the Bible’s definition — we can assume that the relationship may be fueled by something else, and not LOVE. I guess the tone of this piece didn’t turn out as light and ‘cloud nine-y‘ as I’d initially intended. Oops – Sorry guys — these ideas simply took over. Happy Valentine Day!