A few weeks ago I read a book that got me thinking. What is love? From a religious standpoint there are two types of love. There is the love that the world promotes which is, in general, more accurately described as lust-driven passions. This is evidenced in the amount of pornographic, adulterous, single-parent, abusive, and other such devastating situations in which many people live their lives. This is a "love" that is easy to find and develop. To do such, simply act on your carnal instincts and enjoy society's definition of love.
But then there is the other type of love; that is, the love which Jesus Christ so perfectly demonstrated: the love for everyone--especially those who hate(d) Him--which caused the Savior of the world to lay down His life and suffer and die for each and every one of us so that we may one day live again. This is a love which is just as easy to find as the world's version, but much harder to develop. This love is a gift from God and takes a very concerted effort to develop, which efforts include not only avoiding the carnal passions of mankind but in many cases, doing just the opposite. This is the love which I seek to discuss in this blog post. This is true love. This is a love which is eternal and far more beneficial for everyone involved than the other version.
I do not presume to be an expert in love. In fact, I will be the first to tell you that I am still very far away from having Christ-like love. Which is exactly why I feel qualified to make this blog post? This isn't coming from an expert or a professional, but rather from someone like you who is trying to develop relationships that will be firm and lasting. This is coming from someone who has observed, studied, and taken note of many aspects of love. Here is a brief compilation of some of my thoughts concerning true love.
Observation 1--Love and pain are not disjoint
Many people who do not believe in any form of God ask the question, "If this God loves us so much, why do bad things happen in the world?" This is a very valid question and one that I have often thought about! One day as I was pondering this question, another question came to my mind: does allowing pain imply a lack of love? When thought of from the perspective of a "God" to us, it can present quite a conundrum. But when brought down to a more applicable level, the answer is quite clear. Allow me to illustrate via a personal example.