What is love? That's the question. Everyone has their own meaning, but what does it really mean. I believe that love is respect, trust, unconditional, unselfish, committed, and above all else it upholds any situation. Love can be many things, but one thing for sure love is not selfish, unforgiving, self-seeking, or deceitful. Is it just a feeling or does it go deeper than that?
Webster defines love as "to have affection for, profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, a feeling of warm personal attachment or a deep affection."
When I was a little girl I always wanted to feel this type of "affection" from my father. I grew up with my mom and my sibling's father. All of my friends either had both parents and just their fathers. My father's absence at the time did not bother me. As I became older, I felt "unwanted, unloved", and therefore suffered from low-self esteem. The teenage years came in and the pressure was on! Everyone had a boyfriend, wearing makeup, having sex, partying, and doing things that Most teenagers were doing. I use to feel like something was wrong with me because I was not" a part of the in crowd". I did not like to get in trouble. I was focused on getting through school, so boys were not like the main subject on my mind. My mother was always there for me, but I needed that same affection from my father. I needed my father to tell me I was pretty and that he loved me. I needed that fatherly protection and security. Without that extra love and guidance you tend to walk down a wrong road in life, "looking for love in al the wrong places".
In 1Corinthians 13:4 it talks about the love of God. God is love, his love is forever, and it's never unfailing. His love is faithful. God's love never fails, never lies, is not selfish and is never forced; it's given freely with nothing in return.
I began dating my junior year in high school. I graduated from high school and what I thought feel in love with someone whom I knew every since 9th grade. We were always friends and kept in contact over the years. We went to different high schools. He made me feel like he loved me. I was never pressured to do anything that I did not want to do. He was like "the perfect guy". He was nothing like any guy I met before. After high school we became closer. Our feeling began to grow stronger for one another. We eventually moved in together, but that's when things began to unfold. We quickly learned that neither of us really knew who we were. We did not know what it meant to be a whole person. To be whole to me means nothing lacking, missing, broken, all together emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Let's break this down.
Accepting responsibility in taking care of your needs. Being able to share your concerns with those who will listen, not judge you, and who will be able to provide positive feedback.
Eating healthy, exercising, keeping up your personal hygiene, and getting the proper rest.
Being connected to the spiritual realm, praying, listening, meditating, and becoming at peace with one's self.
When a person is not whole in these particular areas, they tend to look to others to fulfill those needs. Love does not create abuse dominance does. When we don't know the use of someone or something we attend to abuse it. For example men and women have both misused one another for personal gains such as money, sexual gratification, social status, material things, and so on. We need to understand that God created us to need one another. Each of us plays an important role in one another's lives. We should take the time to learn the differences of how male and females communicate, what one values, and how each gender functions. When we have this understanding it can stop a lot of confusion and conflicts that arise within your relationships. Without understanding how one operates can lead to a person trying to dominate the other when thing's don't go their way.
We are not created to be dominated. Dominance means to rule over to control. I grew up around strong women. The women were "in control". It seems as if the male and female roles were reversed. To me it looked as if they did what was needed to get things done. Today's woman is very independent and very stable, but when you are in a relationship with someone there has to be a balance of compromise on both parts, agreeing to disagree. There is nothing wrong with a man or woman handling their responsibilities, but the manner in which they do it in. Relationships are to be partnerships just because one of you may be the bread winner, or have a higher educational level than the other does not give someone the right to dominate you.
So now that we know we are not created to dominate or to be dominated by others, what exactly are we created for? I believe we were created to have dominion. This simply means to take over territory. Take dominion over yourself. Develop yourself. How may you say?
Always remember to give love freely and expect nothing in return.