Four Proofs of Real Love
There are more than 200,000 books on love in the Amazon book store. Yet, young and old still find it difficult to define love, and more difficult still to prove that they’ve found it.
a feeling you feel when you feel that you’re feeling a feeling you never felt before.— Source unknown
If I would add anything to the quote above, I would clarify the feeling as “satisfying, not sickening.”
I would also propose that love is more than a feeling. It is primarily a virtue gifted to us by the God, the Source of love. The focus in this hub is the male-female relationship which has potential to become the primary love relationship, leading to romance and marriage.
Although much of the cultural symbolism in the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs), is not familiar to us, the love principles shine through clearly. Among them are four basic characteristics of the relationship. Without these, whatever is happening between two people cannot be considered true love.
(1) Love is Self-Affirming
Woman: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” (2:1)
Man's response: “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women.” (2:2)
In the Song , the woman (believed to be Solomon’s Shulamite bride) compares herself to an exquisite flower. Sharon in Solomon’s day was one of the largest valley-plains in Palestine and “was considered a wild, fertile plain that had many beautiful flowers in it. Sharon was known for its beauty and majesty.”
The woman affirms her own beauty, by referring to herself as a product of Sharon. There are several ways for her lover to respond.
- He could warn her about being overconfident.
- He could hang his head back and laugh to suggest that she is being foolish.
- He could even humiliate her by stating that he does not agree.
Instead, he lovingly reassures her that she is as beautiful as she says she is.
The woman's self-affirmation comes from the awareness of her self-worth and the joy of sharing her value with someone who deserves her. What a comfortable feeling to assert herself as the woman she thinks she is, and have her lover support her! If you’re in love, you can relate.
2) Love is Respectful
The woman's friends: “How is your beloved better than others?” (5:9)
The woman: “My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.” (5:10)
Lovers hold the object of their love in high regard. They speak commendably of each other. For example, the Shulamite’s friends ask her the question every person in love will have to answer at some point.
It may be phrased differently, like, “What makes you so sure that you made the right choice?”
Then she adds a description of his wavy hair, his dove-like eyes, and all the other parts of his physique, and concludes with “he is altogether lovely.” She admires the total package.
The Spices Big Girls Are Made Of discusses the “choice fruits” with which he compares her. He mentions plants which symbolize purity, resilience, adaptability, versatility, practicality and other positive womanhood virtues.
The two people are proud of each other. If you got love in the truest sense, you and your beloved share a similar, mutual pride. You have no reservations when you explain how right you are for each other.
3) Love Does Not Hide
"Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit. He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much he loves me." (2: 3,4)
Other Articles on Real Love
- The Perfect Gift to Say 'I Love You'
The perfect gift to say "I love you," is not the gift you like; it is the gift the other person likes.
- Six Great Bible Verses for Virgins
Some are nonchalant about virginity but there are still hundreds who value it. Here's some empowerment for good moral posture.
- Four Reasons Not To Have A Secret Love Relationship
Keeping the secret may take more energy than building the relationship. Also, these foundational essentials may be missing.
- Ever have to wait in a room across the hall while your beloved meets a friend?
- Stay in the car while he or she drops something off at mother's house?
- Find something to do while he or she attends a social function with colleagues whose shop-talk (in the opinion of your beloved) will not interest you?
The red flag pops up when one lover has reasons for excluding the other at times and places where there is no good reason for requesting his or her absence.
The man in the Song takes his beloved to a public function and she is thrilled to be seated in the shade of his influence. They have no hesitation about being seen together. Their love thrives in the company of others. If you're in love, you understand the meaning of exclusive togetherness in a crowd of other people. Sometimes, being together is even more important than enjoying the event.
4) Love Is Enduring
“Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” (8:7).
True love is “patient. . . It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4, 7).
Regardless of the strength of love, lovers experience misunderstandings and hurdles beyond their control. Still they are not quick to break-up, or search for another possible lover. Their attitude is similar to the lovers’ in the Song.
Lovers who can deal with and survive conflict know that they got the real thing. Barring abuse or any form of destructive behavior, wise lovers mount their difficulties together and enjoy the calm after the storm.
Lovers visualize being a part of each other’s lives forever. They anticipate marriage and sexual intimacy as a part of that future.
If any of these four characteristics are absent from your relationship, you’re not experiencing adequate love.
If all four are strong in your relationship, you have the foundation of a love worth nurturing.
Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.
© 2011 Dora Isaac Weithers