Today Facebook showed me a list that some young girl must’ve written, describing the kind of love that she is looking for: “I want a ‘baby did you eat today’ kind of love. A joke fest until I smile again kind of love. A rub my back after work kind of love. . .”
I read through the never-ending wishes for someone to attend to the girl’s every want and feeling, and I wondered how the definition of true love became a demand for pampering. I wondered when we decided that love is about entitlement. About looking out for number one. About making sure that our relationships are about US getting what WE want, and if the other person can’t deliver on our list of demands, then they just aren’t worthy of us.
But, you’re getting it all wrong, girls. Love isn’t a laundry list of behavior requirements. It isn’t an attempt to grab as much attention as you can, setting up ultimatums to try and control your loved one’s thoughts and actions. There’s a word to describe that type of attitude: abusive.
Real love is always looking out for someone else. It’s deciding that you are putting another person’s wants and needs ahead of your own. Real love doesn’t feel entitled. It doesn’t make demands or threats. Real love is kind. It’s gentle. It forgives imperfection.
When you are looking for love, look to GIVE it, not get it. Then you’ll be on the road to finding a real, deep love that is about sacrificing for each other, not greedily making sure that you are getting every little thing that you want. Selfishness leads to loneliness. But, kindness and grace lead to love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 4-7 (MSG)
As always, you hit it right on the head. I heard a woman give a list of what “a man had to have” to be in a relationship with her, and remember being shocked that it was all about her–as if she’d never heard of “give and take” or doing for others. Thank you for being a voice for righteousness in a world I don’t often recognize anymore.
Thanks for this, Linda!
You said this well. I’ve learned that giving is better than receiving, and when I give, I ultimately receive. My husband isn’t here to be my first love. Christ is my first love, and only He can meet the deepest needs of my worth and value. Out of His abundance to me, I can be there for my family.
Thank you, Connie!