The Uniqueness of Love

Love is unique to all of us. Here is what I mean: I love many people in this world, but none pf them are loved by me like my wife is. I love all of my children, but each of them is loved in a different way; no two of them are the same, neither are they loved the same way. I love my siblings but that love is not as deep perhaps, and is not as complete as the love for my immediate family. I loved my parents, both differently, but both intensely; you see, love has many faces and is manifested in different degrees, to different people. I love the Lord with all my heart and mind and soul, but that love is unique to Him, and Him only. The flip side of the uniqueness of love is that not everyone loves me the same either! I cannot expect anyone to love me as another might; I expect too much of them when I do. I have friends that love me, but their love is sometimes a vague love, reserved and “quiet” in a sense, while others love emphatically, and express it openly; they all have a certain affection for me, as I do them, but we are all different in appearance, in emotion, and in spirit. My point? I have learned not to expect too much from others when it comes to expressing their love. Some are embarrassed to show it, but make it clear that they love us; others, perhaps a bit more ostentatious, love us with a more boisterous love, and let it show openly to all; we all love differently, and are loved differently by others. Some love from a distance, and we see little of them, but the love is there nevertheless; and others desire to be with us all the time, though they may not be able to do so. So, give others a chance to love you; allow them to love you in their way, and not necessarily in the way you want them to. Much anxiety and disappointment can be avoided by not expecting too much of them.

When love merely responds to the goodness of others, it is a weak love, and has no value. When this is the case, others control our love, and not we ourselves; we cannot decide who to love and who not to love by the persons merit or worthiness, but by our own. We choose to love whom we will. When the actions of another dictate our love for them, we do not truly love them, but the good they do for us. This is a self-seeking love that cannot stand the test of time. We must love because it is in us to do so, and not because we are moved by a particular person or thing. I used to say that “love responds to love” and it does to some extent, but when love responds to hate, and continues to love in spite of it, one has taken a giant leap toward mature, complete and valuable love that makes a difference in the one that is loved as well as the one that does the loving. Again, we ought to love others because it is in us to do so, and not because of what, or who they are, nor for what they can do for us, or have done for us.

We all have pre-conceived ideas of what love is, and how it is shown. We think according to our own ways of doing things, but how can we do otherwise when we were conditioned to love the way we do all our life long? We cannot comprehend much beyond our own thoughts and motives; our ways are often the only ways we know. Did you know that God loves us all uniquely? His love is unconditional, and yet He expects little of true love from us; we are not capable of loving Him in the way we should, but we can strive for the goal of doing so. Only His love in us will teach us to love properly and not to expect too much of others less capable of loving us the way we would like them to. Only His love can deliver us from the heartbreak and pain of a non-reciprocating love. Our God, though we love with an inferior love, accepts us and accepts our love for Him as a precious thing, though it is far short of what we owe Him and of what He has a right to expect from us. He is an amazing God, and His love is an amazing love. Only God’s love is able to love those who hate Him; He is able, and willing to love the unlovable. How do I know? Because He loved you and me; He loved us when we did not love Him, when we were at our worst, when we were “yet sinners” God loved us, and still He loves us today. (Rom 5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Let us all rejoice in the pure and sweet love of Jesus, given freely to all mankind. Let us love because of who we are, and not because of whom the recipient of our love may be; let us love as Jesus loved, and reflect His love in us to others.

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