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Love That Gives Back to the Lover

Updated on November 28, 2017
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MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

The better you understand love, the more willing you are to love as much as being loved. Although you need love, you receive satisfaction when you give it away because sharing love is like spraying perfume. Some of the sprays fall back on the giver.

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

— Robert A. Heinlein

Habitat for Humanity Project (2012) with Owen MBA Students

 Photo Credit: Carlos Ruiz, Maralei Bunn
Photo Credit: Carlos Ruiz, Maralei Bunn | Source

This is not the so-called love that gives for the purpose of getting. This kind of love comes from a divine supplier--God who is the ultimate Source of love. He gives His love freely and His recipients have the prerogative to give it away in various ways and in different kinds of relationships.

Whether in a casual friendship, a familial bond or a marriage partnership, the basic characteristic of love is the same. It aims to benefit the recipient, but benefits the giver as well.

The Test of Love

Based on a universally accepted description of love1, you can test your love for genuineness or lack of it. Here’s how.

Think of two people who interact with you: one in a close mutual relationship and the other in a subordinate position. Read the statements below and evaluate whether you share the same quality of love with both.

  • You are patient and kind.
  • You are not jealous, or boastful, or proud, or rude.
  • You do not insist on “me first; it is not always “my way.”
  • You are not easily irritated.
  • You are forgiving and keep no record of being wronged.
  • You rejoice when justice triumphs in the other person’s interest.
  • You look for the best in him or her, and applaud it when you see it.
  • You stand beside that person through all kind of difficulties.

Love can be genuine regardless of rank between two people (although expressions of love may vary according to the type of relationship).

Observations about Love

Share More Love, Get More Love

Photo Credit:  Noël Zia Lee
Photo Credit: Noël Zia Lee | Source

Based on the same description of love, it is safe to make the following statements.

  • Love is not just a feeling or mood; it is an attitude, an action, a practical demonstration of your values.
  • It is the part of you which you contribute to the lives of others.
  • It is not reserved just for special people. It is to be shared with everyone in a similar quality but in various capacities according to the relationship.
  • Love feeds your own sense of purpose and your self-worth.
  • In the process of actively loving, your boost your own faith in the ability of human beings to share life’s burdens.
  • Love is a privilege, not an obligation. No one is obligated to return your love, but the more unselfish love you give, the more you receive from unexpected sources.

Various Ways to Show Love

Lonely! Will He Respond to Love?

Photo Credit:  Arief Rahman Saan (Ezagren)
Photo Credit: Arief Rahman Saan (Ezagren) | Source

Some of the people who are criticized for being anti-social are only demonstrating the results of neglect, rejection, abuse and like tragedies in their lives. They respond to love with anxiety, suspicion or an attempt to withdraw. They suffer from Emotional Deprivation Disorder2—a condition named by Dutch psychiatrist, Anna A. Terruwe in the 1950s.

Although such people do not feel capable to love, they can learn if others will love them first. Terruwe recommends Affirmation Therapy from a professional, but they probably will not desire help, before someone demonstrates love to them.

These are the people who provide you the opportunity to exercise genuine love. There are no organized programs to follow, because love does not come in one size that fits all. However, here are a few suggestions on how to share love in various situations.

  • Pay attention. Notice facial expressions and make positive remarks. “I love that smile you’re wearing today.”
  • Allow your facial expressions and body language to show acceptance. Smile, tilt your head and lean your body toward, not away from, them.
  • Nurture their sense of belonging. “It would be a pleasure to have you help with the flower arrangements” or whatever skill they seem to have. Encourage but not pressure. The aim is to make them realize that you recognize their worth.
  • Express understanding when they refuse to comply or act contrary to what you expect. Validate and empower them especially by your example of loving.

Just be genuinely interested and the emotionally challenged will tell you directly or indirectly how to love them.

The Reward of Love

The reward of love is more love. For example, the newborn baby cries for love; the adult cuddles the infant who soon learns to recognize and respond to affection; when the baby responds, the adult receives love in abundance.

How many babies do you think it will take to make the adult weary of loving? It is just natural to love babies.

Everyone has a childlike desire to be recognized, affirmed, commended, encouraged, appreciated. Love the baby in everyone you meet, not as an investment for profit, but because love comes naturally. By constantly sharing love, it spreads over greater portions of your heart, leaving less space for destructive emotions. You become more loving and loveable.

Finally, there are the emotional health benefits.3 Loving others cancels negative feelings like self-pity, disconnectedness and depression. It increases the number of your smiles and improves your sense of satisfaction. And you never know the extent to which your love satisfies others. Moreover, in loving others you find reason to love yourself.

Do you focus more on loving or on being loved?

See results

References

1. Bible Gateway: Multiple Versions, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

2. Baars, Dr.Conrad W: Conrad Bars, Emotional Deprivation Disorder, (Copyright 2001).

3. Baars, Dr. Conrad W: Conrad Bars, Affirmation and Affirmtion Therapy, (Copyright 2001).

© 2014 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ologsinquito, Mother Theresa was very wise, and yes Jesus did say, "If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14: 15). Thanks for your comment.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      Mother Theresa said that in the end, we'll be judged by how much we loved. If we love God, we'll follow His commandments. If you love our neighbor, we'll follow God's commandments too.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Manatita,for your very kind comment. Glad you appreciate the sentiments.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      A gallant and positive approach to love and in living a self-giving life, full of service and empathy. Much peace.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rajan, thanks for your input. Glad you find the presentation beautiful

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What a beautiful way to send the message of love across. And the benefits that accrue are priceless.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jtrader, glad you came by. I appreciate your wise observation.Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Dis-cover, so glad you enjoyed my article. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, I totally agree with you. Thank you for your input.

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      Practicing all of that- not being easily irritated etc, becomes easier with time. It places less stress on your heart when you make a conscious decision to respond that way, instead of merely trying to ignore what irritated you. Good hub.

    • dis-cover profile image

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Hi MsDora, thoroughly enjoyed this hub. Perfectly written. Thank you and voted up.

      Best wishes Predrag.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is an uplifting message, Dora. All of us have probably been difficult to love at some point of our lives.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, that's a good topic for an article. It seems to me that some people who disclaim God actually live by godly principles and reap the results. I think His principles work even if He does not get the credit. Just my opinion. Thanks for weighing in.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Amazingly this sort of resonates an article I am working on. We all can say we love but certainly our action are what prove that we do. Actually I do see ones who disclaim God show love and that is very puzzling to me? Perhaps someone else can explain that one. lol

      Up and sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, keep on giving the love away. Thank you for your input.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      concrete and clear was the message here.. Msdora.. I give love the way I want to receive it.. a very well written hub :)

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lastheart, be encouraged! God is the Source of love. The deeper our connection with Him, the more we understand His love for us. It is His love that we are receiving for ourselves. It is His love we are sharing with others. You are right that His Spirit helps us; He teaches us to love, and it is the journey of a lifetime. Be blessed!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Glad you liked it Rachel. Thank you for your comment.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Wow!!! Thanks dear sister. This was a complete course in love. The more I know about love, the further I feel from it. I pray that God's mercy be upon us all, for staying short.

      Long way, but God is always present, His Holy Spirit helps us in the journey of love.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      This was a very uplifting post, MsDora

      Thank you .

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Denise, for your visit and your affirmation. If we say we don't need love, we're only pretending; same for the other people around us.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I like what you said about us all having a baby in us. We all have that innate desire to be loved and accepted unconditionally. When we are not, we loose faith and trust in the world and those in close proximity to us. Taking the time to love our family members unconditionally by showing them kindness will pay great dividends in their future. Excellent hub!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila, so many have people have the wrong idea about love, but we'll keep trying to teach the Bible love. Thanks for your input.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Awesome! If more people would learn what real love is, the world would be a much better place. I know if they read your hub, they'll be inspired to go out and spread the real love of 1 Corinthians 13.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Tireless, I couldn't have summarized it any better. Thank you for your encouraging input.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Your wisdom uplifts me and humbles me. Some people are so difficult to love, but they are the ones who need it the most. Bless your day.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Crafty, you're so right. That love description is a great one to live by.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      I love the words from Corinthians. They are a such a great source for modeling in a relationship, especially a marriage.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, I agree that the least of these is really the test of love. That's when we give what we have and fill the needs of others who may have nothing to give in return. Thanks for that focus.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      DDE, love is precious in any form it comes. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Word, the sweetest love is the love that comes unexpectedly, not the love you try to earn. Keep on giving it away and enjoy doing that. Thank you for sharing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, what a beautiful message here, MsDora! I believe we have love in our hearts for the sole purpose of giving it away. I am so glad you brought up the point of loving those who are hard to love, as that is especially important. It is so easy to love those who are lovable, but those are indeed unlovable, that is when we know how to truly love when we love those who are unlovable to most of the world ... as well as "The least of these."

      Up and more and away!

      Blessings for a lovely day.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautifully thought of hub love is such a wonderful experience and has true meaning. Love is accepted in lives in so many ways and felt at odd times.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Greetings MsDora, It seems that I give love like running water. I only expect it in return because you should get back what you dish out. However, that doesn't always happen, in a good way, right away. I enjoy giving it because it's part of my nature. I feel that I should always show and give love. I feel it will eventually come back if not sooner then later. You broke it down so well that I feel like I'm right on target in giving with love, -:)

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I know that your house is fun place to be, with love being shared so generously among your lovely family.Thanks for sharing your rhyme. I like it.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      ToBusiness, simple truth to those who are willing to accept it; difficult to those who have different agenda. Thanks for your kind comment.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill (lifegate), we know that life hs to expressed in other than talk. Thanks for underscoring that.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Bill, you encourge me as always. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Doc, if there is test of true love anywhere, it is in these verses. You cannot go wrong meditating on them. Thanks for your input.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      There is a fun little rhyme kids just love: Beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot!

      So my kids and I made a different one: Love love the magical thing, the more you give the more you bring.

      You do know that the more we write about love the more there is out there floating around like a butterfly ready to land on a child's nose.

      Thank you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Such a simple truth to embrace, if we all give love, we all receive love. Why do so many of us find this such a difficult principle to grasp. Excellent hub, informative and beautifully done.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      That opening quote is so true - “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” I like how you mention that love is action as well. We speak the words all we want, but if we don't act upon them, I doubt it's love at all. thanks for sharing this one with us. Up and across.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was reminded of the wonderful author Leo Buscaglia as I read this. His message was timeless and it was about loving, learning to love, learning to love ourselves. Awesome message here my friend.

    • Purpose Embraced profile image

      Yvette Stupart PhD 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi MsDora, thanks for a great hub. I enjoy The Test of Love that is based on verses in 1 Corinthians 13. I have been meditating on the verses for the past three months or so. I am finding the concepts very helpful as I focus on showing love in practical ways each day.