AJ and I have decided to start focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit. Each month we will be taking a character trait, defining it, and seeing how we can apply it to our life in a better way. We decided to start with Love and it really got me thinking.
What is love? Not the physical love, but the act of showing love to others. This time of year we seem to focus on physical love, but there is so much more to love.
We are talking about the act of love, so we looked up the verb definition of the word. According to www.merriam-webster.com love is:
- To feel great affection for (someone)
- To feel sexual or romantic love for (someone)
- To like or desire (something)
According to http://dictionary.reference.com love is:
- To have a great attachment to and affection for
- To have a passionate desire, longing, and feeling for
- To like or desire very much
Unfortunately, those definitions don’t really explain what love is to me, so we went to look for a Biblical definition. I went to the “love chapter” – 1 Corinthians 13. Here is the King James Version.
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
That is where we ran into another roadblock. I remember memorizing that chapter as a child; but, when I went back to it, I noticed that it didn’t actually mention the word love, but the word charity. AJ’s Bible, on the other hand, had the word love. Then we did a little more digging and looked up the meaning of charity. There are numerous definitions for charity but two of them from dictionary.com are:
- Christian love; agape
- love of ones fellow men
After a lot of searching and learning in the process, we decided to make a few lists of the ways that we can show love. There were numerous things on the lists, but for now I will focus on the love we can show my grandmother as we take care of her.
- Love is giving up our own wants and desires to take care of Grandma.
- Love is staying up all night because Grandma doesn’t want to sleep.
- Love is turning the other cheek when we have obscenities yelled at us because Grandma doesn’t want to go to the doctor.
- Love is changing adult diapers and pretending they are pads to preserve her dignity.
- Love is patient, answering the same questions over and over.
- Love is not making plans, because you don’t know when Grandma is going to have a bad day.
- Love is being kind when we are embarrassed from watching an 85 year old flirt with a teenager because she thinks she is only 12.
- Love is laughing, joking, and remembering old times.
- Love is listening to stories that we know aren’t true and going along with them.
- Love is watching her face light up when she sees something or someone she likes.
- Love is sticking through the bad stuff and enjoying the good stuff.
We have things to work on, but I found making this list very helpful. While we do all of the things above, we don’t always do them with a happy heart and a joyful attitude. Learning about love was a wonderful experience.
What does love mean to you?