I’m single, never married without any children. While most people look at me like a foreign creature or assume I’m crazy, I am actually just a normal woman with exceptional values and a past full of heartaches. I spent my 20s casually dating, electing to spend the majority of my time and focus on building a career and financial freedom. Now that I am in my 30s and open to seriously dating, the culture of dating makes me resentful and the opportunities seem very bleak. When I observe the relationships or marriages of family, friends, and colleagues, not to mention those relationships portrayed in the media, it seems like these days people fall out of love quicker than they fall in love. Not to mention, chivalry and loyalty seem to be attributes of the past. Which got me thinking about love and exactly what love means to me. I just want to believe that two people can fall in love and never fall out. What I’ve witnessed can’t be love. When I imagine myself in the perfect relationship, I see myself as the perfect 90’s classic R&B love song, with two young adults blissfully in love without any cares in the world. When in reality, there is no such thing as the perfect love song or story but you can attain perfect love.
So what is love? Today, we hear the four letter word tossed about a host of times on a daily basis. But how many people really practice love in its purest of forms? Webster dictionary defines love as a strong affection for another, an assurance of affection, or a warm attachment enthusiasm, or devotion. The word devotion signifies an allegiance, loyalty or faithfulness to a subject. In order for us to love, we have to share in kindness, compassion, and selflessness continuously. Love is more than just a word, feeling, or an action, love is a lifestyle. Love is habitual. Love is not a Disney fairytale, it should be much more than that because it is real life. Good relationships do not just happen. To foster good relationships it takes time, patience, and it has to be unconditional.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13Amplified Bible (AMP)
4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. 5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([a]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. 9For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). 10But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. 12For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as [b]in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand [c]fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been [d]fully and clearly known and understood [[e]by God]. 13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 is a bible passage we are all familiar with. We were all made to love and to be loved. We are all wired with the need for acceptance, and a sense of belonging, which we receive in different forms through family, friends, social groups or clubs, professional affiliations, mentors, intimate partners, and religious groups. Although we were made to love and be loved, it seems these days, most individuals are in deep lust or like. I say this because their motives for love are selfish. Think about the guy that claims to love his girlfriend, yet cheats on her repeatedly, but at the first inclination of her infidelity he’s off a ledge. When I examine the culture of black men today, it’s as if men want a good wholesome woman to come home to after a long day of cheating! I’m not a man-hating renaissance woman by any means nor do I think all men are dogs. However, I would say the majority of men have adopted this mentality for various reasons. Whatever the reason may be, this is not love.
The truth is most people are in love with conditions, instead of unconditional love. It is just that there are conditions and there is love. When you talk about love, it has to be unconditional. In all honest, there is really no such thing as conditional love and unconditional love, only unconditional. The moment there is a condition, it is no longer love but amounts to an agreement. Maybe a convenient agreement, many people have made excellent arrangements in life – but that will not fulfill you. It is just convenient. The moment the agreement no longer works in your favor, the relationship begins to crumble. Love should be a lifelong commitment regardless of unfavorable circumstance such as health problems, financial setbacks, and other hardships outside of your control. But there are circumstances that should not be tolerable such as one partner making reckless choices detrimental to the relationship.