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Love Is The Defining Factor: An Invitation To A Relationship

Updated on February 3, 2017
O're the tumult of life's stormy sea God calls us to Himself according to His Word.
O're the tumult of life's stormy sea God calls us to Himself according to His Word. | Source

Valentine’s Day, Relationships, and Defining Love


Valentine's Day claims to perpetuate love. Greetings range from sincere to comical, but relationships are not-so-funny things. Far too often, concepts about what love is escape our thinking.

A person may not be able to verbalize a definition, but knowing when it is missing gives, at the very least, a sense that something is not right. Sometimes, vague signs that love is not a part of a relationship turn to definite signals.


What do Our Culture's Relationships Look Like?


• As if he knows all about it, a pudgy toddler declares, “I don’t love you anymore.”

• “You don’t love me!” an angst filled 13-year-old girl with blazing eyes cries to a parent in a moment of anger.

• "I give up. There's no way out. I just need to accept my circumstances," sighs a resigned woman who, like too many who are worn down over time, has given up all hope.

• An elementary student decides it is too risky to ask for help and tells himself that he will hide until the danger is over, wondering what it would be like to be loved and cared for like his friends.

• “If you love me you will do this,” threatens a deceitful and manipulating boyfriend determined to have his way.

• “Why don’t you love me,” a distraught, broken-hearted wife pleads in utter confusion.

• The regretful husband asks his mirror, "Will my wife be able to love me again?"

• Quietly, an old person lives out a needy, lonely life, shunned by the children who grew up in his or her home, not understanding the pain that comes with fragility and neglect.

• A grown-up child looks on, grieving too early, as a stubborn parent refuses to take good advice, insisting on what will only destroy them in the end.

It is terribly sad that the concept of love has

been reduced to self-satisfaction because

real love is so satisfyingly wonderful.

Defining love may be easiest if we take an honest look at what love is not. Valentine’s Day is all about the word love, but the focus isn’t usually on love's definition. The advertising, of course, focuses on emotions which are changeable and misleading, so for the most part, what people think they will get out of the day does not become reality.

Young and old alike are fooled into thinking that a particular path will take them to what they desire, yet they are unable to make connections on how certain means lead to certain ends. Dreams are unfulfilled and celebrants of the big day do not know why. Because they do not know what real love is they are unable to recognize the counterfeits.


Defining Love: A Relationship's Foundation


In looking at the degradation of families the world over, perhaps especially in our country, the conclusion is that knowledge of love is being drained from the life-blood of our self-serving age. Gratifying self is taught to ever younger age groups. Even an acquaintance with the love that is made of pure motives is hard to find. It is terribly sad that the concept of love has been reduced to self-satisfaction because real love is so satisfyingly wonderful.

Gifts of Love
Gifts of Love | Source

An understanding that love is rooted in self-sacrifice is an obvious need, yet our society is filled with people teaching little ones to satisfy themselves. If parents and educators were teaching character by definition and example our country’s children would know that self-sacrifice starts with responding rightly to others no matter how we feel.

Some counselors explain love as something we do rather than something we feel, however, the idea that we take action without feeling affection (or at least compassion) is rather cold. Because it is undefined the concept of self-sacrifice being the making of relationships is fading from societal thinking.

Humans tend to be self-serving so it is imperative to know what love is and to know whether a person with whom we might be considering a relationship knows what it is. Knowing that a person can have a commitment to a relationship but not know what love truly is should be a major factor in our evaluation of whether to move forward with them.

Defining love then examining our own motives as well as those of the other party from an objective perspective is fundamental to effectively determining whether to go forward in any relationship. Because of the compelling fact that truth does not change, this thing called true love--this love that so few ever own--is a worthy and interesting study.


Love's Definition is Rooted in Truth


The cost of the love that will meet our ultimate need is full of mystery, yet having that relationship is so satisfying that it allows us to successfully navigate the various human relationships in this world, even though they can be difficult.

The love that God displayed through the Lord Jesus calls us to a relationship with Him that is beyond our power to gain, yet which is freely ours if we go to Him in repentance according to His Word with a humble and contrite heart that agrees with Him.

From the King of Love CD:

The Greatest Love, The Most Important Relationship:

May this Valentine’s Day find you in the most important relationship for this life and eternity!

• Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10 (KJV)


• We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (ESV)


• But God commendeth His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (ASV)


• For God so love the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)


• Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 (NASB)

How should we respond to this love that defines the One reaching out to us? What will you do with an offer for the greatest, most important relationship in all of time and eternity?


More About the Invitation


Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources.

• Thought provoking change for Somoa.

• A worthy read from history.

Daily Light for the Daily Path provides insight for living.

• Themes of love and grace, themes of Christmas.



Join this Dialogue on Love and the Most Important Relationship that We Need

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    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 months ago from the short journey

      MarleneB:

      Thank you very much for coming by and also for adding your feedback. You've reminded me of lines from the hymn The Love of God:

      O love of God, how rich and pure!

      How measureless and strong!

      It shall forevermore endure—

      The saints’ and angels’ song.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 6 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I really enjoyed reading this beautiful article about love. Once I learned the concept of unconditional love, the kind that comes from our heavenly Father, I understood the true meaning and was able to give and receive love more easily.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      truthfornow:

      There is much truth in what you say. Thank you for stopping in and leaving your comment.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      When you have the Love of God you have so much more and are open to so much more in your life.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you! :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Lovely hub...and I mean that in the most sincere use of the word. :)

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for stopping by CARIBQUEEN.

      "What greater love," indeed?

    • CARIBQUEEN profile image

      CARIBQUEEN 6 years ago

      Wow! RTalloni, you have hit the nail on head where TRUE LOVE is concerned. If we as human beings can emulate the love that Jesus Christ displayed while on the earth - we would be far ahead in life - no more selfishness, jealously, envy, pride etc. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, would not perish, but have everlasting life." What greater love can we ask for?

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • bettybet profile image

      bettybet 6 years ago

      A great article and comments. Love is giving without expecting something in return - Caritas. Blessings for people with open hearts and minds! xx

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you very much. Glad to have your input.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      Amen we love because He first loved us! I think God's example of love through sacrificial covenant is the best example we can have.

      I like the focus on sacrifice as I do believe that we become attached to what we sacrifice to which is the addictive element in an abusive relationship.

      thoughtful hub

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have enjoyed reading your work.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      You know, some people do not want to admit it but we all have spiritual self...they may not want to believe it but we all have the same basic needs and love is one of those and my thoughts are that God put it there for a reason. A great hub; thanks for sharing.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      There really isn't any other way to celebrate true love, is there? Thanks very much for stopping in. God bless your pilgrim journey!

    • christinecook profile image

      christinecook 7 years ago

      you summed it up so well,so lets celebrate Valentines Day by giving out the Love of God that we have so freely received!

      Peace Be With You

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for stopping in!

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      Love, ah! What must you do without it? You love someone even if the other does not love you back. This is the greatest love of all. RTalloni, thank you for this sharing. More power.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Giving is it exactly!

    • SEO IT! profile image

      Karla Whitmore 7 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      "It is terribly sad that the concept of love has been reduced to self-satisfaction for real love is so satisfyingly wonderful."

      Hear! Hear! Love is something to give and the remarkable thing is that in the process, we end up "getting", too. Jesus Christ truly is the ultimate example of love!

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you so much for stopping in as well as for leaving a comment!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

      Loved this hub! Very timely and thoughtful perceptions of this difficult subject.

    • RTalloni profile image
      Author

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      So true! But as so many do give attention to the day I thought I would postanote on it. Thanks much for stopping by and commenting!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 7 years ago

      I Corinthians 13 is definitely the true summation of true love. Valentine's Day is over-rated and commercialism drives the frenzy behind it. I don't really pay much attention to it--we can celebrate love any day, not just Valentine's. Thanks for sharing.