Right now, love has to be the most misused and misconstrued word that there is. It’s almost as if the entire world is fighting so hard to define what love should be, and to conceal what it actually is. Everybody has their own definition of the greatest word of all, and unfortunately it has nothing to do with what love actually is. For me, there is only one definition of love and it can be found in 1st Corinthians 13, vs: 4-8:
” 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
So I started watching Scandal all over again because for some weird reason this ongoing electoral process in the States made me want to watch the early seasons again.As I was watching, I got to a scene where senator Edison, who was hopelessly in love with Olivia Pope at the time was trying to get her to love him back and think about marrying him but she wouldn’t budge. He got frustrated and asked her why and she told him that she could not love him back because loving him was easy, and that she didn’t want easy. She wanted hard, painful, difficult and complicated, she basically told him that she wanted a love that would rip her to shreds from the pain it brought and when she was done talking, the senator looked at her and said: Love is nothing like what you have just described Olivia, love shouldn’t be painful or difficult or heart breaking, if it’s all that to you then that isn’t love. Love is beautiful Olivia and it’s a shame you don’t see it.
I have probably watched that scene like ten times; in fact, I only stopped watching it so I could write this. I kept rewinding it because that was such a profound statement. I know that Scandal is just a TV show but man! Isn’t that the truth? I love you means less and less every day. What has love become? In fact these days, the people who literally hate you are the ones who “love” you the most. The friends slandering your name will text you and say: “hey love!” the woman enduring physical, mental and verbal abuse from her husband and the father of her children is standing in harm’s way because maybe she thinks that’s his own way of showing her that he “loves” her. The married man who is simultaneously cheating on his wife and stringing his mistress along happens to be in “love ” with all the women in his life. The guy who has no intention of marrying the girl he’s with and sees no future with her will keep telling her that he “loves” her, because it shuts up her questions and keeps her sprung.
If your love doesn’t hold up to the standards in first Corinthians then maybe you should look again. If he loves you, he will honor your body until he marries you because contrary to popular belief you can both do without sex. If he loves you, he will not cheat, or lie or beat you or harm your kids. If she loves you she will respect you, and take care of you and be the help meet that God made her to be, not give you lip and question your authority as the man of the home. If your friends love you, they will correct you when you are wrong rather than gossip about you, they will cover you in prayers and hold you up when you fall because love is patient and kind and it covers a multitude of sins. They will celebrate with you when you succeed rather than scowl in a corner and envy you because love does not envy. They will forgive you easily because love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrong doings.
Love is a word that should not be misused. It’s too sacred, too deep to be carelessly tossed around the way it is these days. Love never fails. The bible was very clear on that so if it keeps failing you and beating you up and hurting you and making you cry every single time, then no, it is not love it is a poor imitation. Perfect love casts out fear, so if you have to compromise to keep him or her in your life, if you are always afraid they will walk away, then that isn’t love because the one thing that love is not is unsure. Love is always sure. Love is humble, there is not a trace of pride in it. So if your love is tainted with pride, well you already know what the answer is…
The true definition of love might seem lofty, difficult even especially in this world we live in today, but when you get it just right, when you love like you are supposed to, it makes all the difference in the world. So here’s to love, to real love, to not settling, and to loving exactly the way God taught us to. Here’s to loving ourselves, our spouses, our friends, our neighbors and even our enemies, yes even our enemies. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” –Jesus Christ
“When you say I love you, mean it!” – Adaugo