Let's talk about love folks and our societal and cultural definitions of it?
Is love a feeling or a committment? Something special for you or a promise to others?
I ask because I find that people sometimes have a hard time accepting love for fear of the cost - whether that be committment, time, energy. Love is supposed to be healing, but how can it heal those unwilling to receive, due to our own societal connotations on the word love (i.e. a man and a woman who love must want to marry or be somehow responsible for the other in some way)?
Answer by Averell A
You must be willing to recieve the love of Christ to gain salvation. You must also be willing to follow him if he calls.
More times than not, love is a decision one makes.
It's when the wants, and needs of another mean something to you. The more you love them, the more their happiness means to you.
There are different grades of love, and lust has NOTHING to do with love.
Both, and a choice. You can choose to fall in or out of love with a person, an idea or concept. And you are right somewhat about the fear aspect preventing love. Human nature is to be in control, giving up partial control is required for relationships to work. That, in my opinion, is why many reject God.
Love is a feeling which, as coded by our society, requires various commitments. For example in our society it could mean comitting to monagomy, where in some other society sex "could" be allowed outside of the relationship so it would not be a commitment (don't know if it's true but it was in a famous movie, "The Savage Innocents," that Eskimos shared their wives and were insulted if you didn't accept the offer).
I think there is a certain amount of confusion about love in our society. Many think it is just a sexual act. It means commitment. That can be inconvenient, because it can cause pain, the death of a police officer, a soldier, or supporting an unintended child, treating an enemy with justice rather than with revenge. I do not know how, but it does heal. Love is a life journey. It is not just one act. For the fireman who gives his life, his death is the culmination of a life of love. Some times a police officer sees so much crime that he begins to believe that everyone is a criminal. When this happens he has lost his way.
Perhaps it is the fear of loss of control, fear of building up love at the risk of it someday being taken away, or the fear of giving up of oneself for another that keeps love at bay for many. I believe that if Love can be redefined, it can be very helpful.
I have been told that the definition of love is the "desire to extend oneself on behalf of another" but I resist that. To me, love is a feeling - the best feeling in the world - and it is inspired by something special, be it a person, a food, a place or any number of things.
We get that feeling about a person, and very often times we do what we can to keep that feeling alive. Some people think that means going down the "relationship path" from Like, to Like-like to Love & Committment, as tradition dictates. I suggest it means maintaining who you are and the circumstances that allow your own personal love to flourish and grow - to what? I do not know. Often times, the destination is not as important as the journey.