True Love, Lasting Love

Love is a command, not just a feeling. 

Somehow, in the romantic world of music and theater we have made love to be what it is not. 

We have so mixed it with beauty and charm and sensuality and contact that we have robbed it of its higher call of cherishing and nurturing.
Ravi Zacharias

True Love …
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
Amy Carmichael

The way we talk about love is far from what love really is. 

Love is something we do. We may or may not always feel loving or feel loved, but the feeling or lack thereof doesn’t change the choice to love another.

We talk about “falling in love” as if it is something that happens to us against our will and with disastrous results. Think about song, movie, or book titles - Crazy in Love, Burning Love, Blind Love, Dangerously in Love, or Crazy, Stupid Love.

Love sounds traumatic.

We have an expectation of a romantic relationship (hearts, flowers, happily ever after) and of an accidental, emotionally wild ride at the same time.

What if we viewed love differently and talked about it more realistically?

Linguists, Mark Johnson and George Lakoff, suggest an interesting solution. They suggest we use a new metaphor about love, “a collaborative work of art.” This metaphor suggests that effort, compromise, and shared goals. It implies that we work together on the relationship and that there is beauty in it.

Love in marriage should be collaborative. But love can also be a one-sided commitment. 

If we truly love unconditionally, that means that we love no matter what. It doesn’t mean that we don’t confront sin and destructive behaviors or that we don’t share how we feel. True love means that I will love you as a person, even when I don’t agree with your behavior. 

Lasting Love ….

How do I make love last for a lifetime?

When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. C. S. Lewis
  • Love God! Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
  • I love as God loves me. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
  • Put your spouse before yourself. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
  • Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
  • Be patient. Love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13:4
  • Accept each other; don’t try to change each other. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7
See our previous post about Romance and Love.

Romance and Love

Romance must, by its very nature, deteriorate into egotism.

For romance is not a love that is directed at another human being; the passion of romance is always directed at our own projections, our own expectation, our own fantasies. In a very real sense it is a love not of another person, but of oneself.  
Robert A. Johnson

Even though this author studies Eastern philosophy, his analysis of relationships in our culture is absolutely accurate. The Bible is also quite clear that true love is a love that puts the needs of others first, not my needs.

Romance can certainly enhance a marriage; most marriages begin with a degree of romance.

What does ROMANCE really mean?

Thoughts of romance usually bring images of a couple looking deeply into each other’s eyes, in a special setting. That scene can definitely be romantic, but is only a small part of the whole relationship.

We talk about having a romantic view of life or of a profession or of an endeavor. When we say that someone has romanticized what it means to be a singer, actor, or artist, we are saying that the person only sees the fun parts, the adoration that comes with it. They don’t see the hard work and the long hours and even rejection that went into the profession before success followed.

Billy Graham says, “The word ‘romance,’ according to the dictionary, means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime.”

Romance only lasts a lifetime when it is a complement to true love. [see our next post for more info]

What does romance look like? 

Facets of Romance ….

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.
Henry Ward Beecher

Romance and Love are often confused. Today, the precedent is often set with elaborate marriage proposals. The aspiring husband puts a lot of thought and planning into the proposal.

If that is just the proposal, how much more romantic will marriage be?

A romantic proposal has nothing to do with true and lasting love.

Ask a couple who has been married 10 years or more, “What is romance?”

They will talk about the little things - having a quiet evening together after a hectic day, brining home my favorite dessert, or even cleaning house together.

Signs of true love!