Love Defined

Just the other day, while standing at the grocery store register, I picked up a women’s magazine.  An article on “keeping your man” caught my eye. Basically, it conveyed ways to keep him occupied so his “eye” does not wonder. As a woman who has been married for over thirty years, I was saddened by the need for such a subject. Interesting how that same night my husband discussed the topic and our talk led me to think about the real meaning of love.

Our society gives us very confusing messages about love. The media seems to imply love and sex are the same thing. However, I have observed passion tends to fade and I believe one can’t build a marriage on emotion.

On the other hand, you may wonder what lasting love looks like. My husband sets a great example. First of all, love is kind and patient. When I was pregnant and tired, my husband sent me to bed and looked after the other children. If I became nauseated while cooking, he’d finish the job himself. His actions caused me to adore him all the more.

Secondly, true love doesn’t demand its own way. My husband always asks my opinion and seeks to know my heart. He wants us to make decisions together because he cares about me, not just my body.  Because of my hubby’s sensitivity we connect deeply. I believe outward beauty will fade, but this kind of love perseveres.

Third, love pursues the best for the one loved. No one likes a parasite because they deplete energy rather than build up. True love thinks long-term and encourages you to tackle challenges that make you grow. My husband saw my writing potential and encouraged me to write. Today, he misses me when I attend conferences, either to share my books or educate myself more, yet he wants me to develop my abilities. Isn’t that awesome?

Lastly, real love commits and perseveres. Even if my husband and I wake up one morning grumpy, we choose loving actions. We’ve discovered our emotions join us while we do kind things. Punching a bag when you’re upset can make you angrier, but an act of the will brings positive feelings.

In summary, real love is others-centered. It thinks long-term, seeks good things for the one loved, and treats loved ones with respect. Magazine articles should be defining real love and ways to attain it, not giving advice on keeping your man occupied.

By Cynthia L. Simmons
Photo by Kayle Kaupanger

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