This month I decided to ask people - married, single, parents, working, and others - to share with me what love is to them. I can tell you my story of love. I can share what love is and what it isn't, but nothing is more compelling than hearing people come together over something that we all have in common. Love is what is given, or not given, to us from the day we enter this world. It is what we give to those in need, it is what we desire in the depths of our hearts every day.
1. Russ Joy
"Love is hard when you're tired, hangry, inconvenienced, or when your boss is a jerk to you all day. Love is hard when you can't trust your own thoughts or when you can't enjoy the things that used to make you happy. Love is the best! I love love! When I'm sick there's someone who will interrupt their day t take care of me. When I'm lost in garbage, there's warmth and hope I never deserved. Love is the best because love gives me a place to belong and be longed for. I am happy that someone makes those choices for my sake. Love is the hardest choice I face every day with all my baggage, but it's the single greatest piece of my life."
2. Leah Smith
"Bottom line, love is a humbling thing. If love has never humbled you in these ways, consider these declarations."
"Thinking of love when you are young, it's easy to assume that love is an uncomplicated thing. It should be effortless to love your friends, your family, and your spouse etc, especially when you simply love those you are close. Unfortunately, loving people certainly comes with it's challenges, yet choosing to love them through it is something we must take seriously. 1st Corinthians 13 breaks this down beautifully to carry us through our relationships. If you haven't read that chapter in the Bible, just listen in at the next wedding you attend. Chances are, that chapter, at least part of it, will be read. And yet, as we navigate these relationships, especially marriage, we quickly come to the understanding that loving people is just plain hard. Love means forgiveness, when you may not want to forgive. Love is considering others greater than yourself. Love is serving one another without expecting anything in return. Bottom line, love is a humbling thing. If love has never humbled you in these ways, consider these declarations. And if you have been harmed by another's misconception of what love is, I encourage you to open the Bible and begin reading about the life of Jesus who is the perfect representation of love; a love that is all of these things and more and a love that never fails us. Lastly, know this above all else, even though love is hard, you are more than worthy to receive it."
3. Kylee Hatch
"Love is coming home from having a drink with some girlfriends, to a clean kitchen, tidy living room and not one complaint about it the next morning, or a snicker of resent on your way out the door.
Love is, being tossed into the rush of getting dinner on the table, with two hungry, demanding children, and an antsy, semi stressed wife trying to find something to wear for drinks out with the girls, and graciously taking over, and shuffling her out the door, even after a long day at the office. Love is laughing the next morning, when you realize half of your dinner was left in the oven all night, and needs to be tossed out, because, all of the above.
Love is committing to your team even when its hard.
Love is telling your wife she needs to be home to sign off on drill bits being delivered, the morning she has mandatory errands to run.
When she asks how much they were, love acts like they were overpriced and love acts like maybe it was a silly purchase. Love is, the drill bits actually being a new phone for your wife, and love has her open the box, even though she’s alone, because love knows she’s had a long day and it will brighten her mood.
4. Kaylee Sandvil
"I'm realizing loving my loved ones means loving them how they most feel loved and not demanding they love me with the same intentionality."
Love is patient, and kind, and all of those beautiful words Paul writes to us in 1 Corinthians. As those words become action in my own life they look a whole lot like selflessness (the less glamorous word for “love”). I’m realizing love is not just selfless, though, but also generous; it doesn’t just withhold from selfish acts, but offers itself for the sake of love. Jesus said it is better to give than to receive. I’m realizing loving my loved ones means loving them how they most feel loved and not demanding they love me with the same intentionality. Giving of myself involves effort (and occasionally error). Like I said, I’m in the process of realizing this... All I know is, truly, it feels so good to give.
5. Brandon Bathalon
"What is love? It’s dedication. Being dedicated to someone. It’s something we crave and need. You never know when you will experience it or with whom you will experience it with. But when you do, it’s breathtaking. It causes the best kind of chaos in your mind. It is having a friend by your side through struggles and accomplishments. The feeling of joy every time you look at them or think of them. Love is seeing the beauty within that person. It allows you to be vulnerable without the fear of being hurt. Love gives you the strength to fight any battle that may arise. Love is pure and amazing in all aspects."
6. Tausha Simmons
"Love is hard to define!"
Love is many things. Love is hard work and failure. It is strength and sadness. It is excitement and passion. What is love to you?