Greatest Love

I’m sure you are aware that “love” is both a noun and a verb. Are you also aware of the multiple meanings of the word? Allow me to share a few, courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Love (noun)

a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties maternal love for a child (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests b : an assurance of affection
2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration b (1) : a beloved person : often used as a term of endearment

Love (verb)

1 : to hold dear : cherish
a : to feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness for b (1) : caress (2) : to fondle amorously (3) : to copulate with
3 : to like or desire actively : take pleasure in

Of these definitions, it seems broken down the best for English Language Learners:

Love (noun)

1 : a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
2 : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
3 : a person you love in a romantic way

Love (verb)

1 : to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone)
2 : to feel sexual or romantic love for (someone)
3 : to like or desire (something) very much : to take great pleasure in (something)

Not that I am an expert on love or anything, I have only known what I feel, or have felt. However, defining love left me quite confused on the topic, and I am left wondering: What is love? What is the difference of love between a noun and a verb?

Here’s what I think I have, looking at my various love relationships. Love is both noun and verb simultaneously. One cannot exist without the other, or it would not be love. It would be, in the noun, admiration, affection, etc… And in the verb form, the long – short of it would be lust, desire, you get it, right? How did I reach such conclusions? Let me show you!

  • When you have a (noun) feeling of constant affection for a person, eventually, if not simultaneously (depending on the nature of the relationship – I’ll explain) you begin to feel great affection, or love, for that person.

Example: A mother feels constant love for her baby, before the baby is even born. That constant affection and love develops into a feeling of love.

  • When I consider romantic love (verb), I look at this as a growing emotion. Obviously, a verb is an action – something you are actively doing. So, clearly, this type of love takes work to be sustainable. This type of love is a feeling of desire.

When I think of love as a verb, how can you negate the beginning stages? The initial attraction, the crush… What comes next? (It has been years! I do not know what happens after the crush!) What I do know is that love takes work. That noun love keeps a marriage steady, when the verb comes and goes – because it comes and goes. You can’t have the verb love without the noun and expect a good relationship.

What am I saying?? Who knows?! I know nothing about loveExcept maybe this:

My pastor often says: When you love you give. What does this mean? You give of yourself. Give of your time. But, you know who gave the greatest love? Jesus. He laid down His life, He became the ultimate sacrifice, for you, for me, for generation past, present, and future. That’s love. Who could love like that? Sure, I have no doubt in mind that I would die for anyone whom I love. I mean, one night at the church, I nearly went into the men’s restroom, when a shady guy went in there, knowing Pastor was in there… Had I heard the slightest bit of a scuffle, in I would have gone – I had already gotten my children to safety. I would give my life for anyone I love. But, could I lay down my life for a stranger? Could I put myself in danger for an enemy? Someone who spoke ill of me, mistreated me, abused me? Could I lay down my life for them? The scriptures say, Greater love hath no man than one who would lay down his life for a friend. Do you know why it says that? Because, even for a friend, it is a hard thing to do – die. Because, maybe, suddenly, we aren’t that close.

fullsizeoutput_279aJesus Christ, the Sacrificial Lamb for the sins of all the world, suffered and died at the hands of even those for whom He died. That’s the greatest love of all. That is a love unconditional. Who loves like that? I want to. I mean, I don’t want to die – but I want to be able to take the pain inflicted by another and love in spite of all that! We are all family. When we can all begin to look at one another as brothers and sisters, imagine!

But, this flesh in which we are robed… The sin that exists within this world. We must crucify our flesh, in order to live. We kill our flesh, for our spirit to live. In our flesh there is no good thing. In our flesh, it is not simple to love. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is, oh-so-weak. As we (our flesh) decrease, He (the Spirit within us) increases, that is how we can fulfill the greatest commandment: To love our neighbor as ourselves. That is how we love. That is the only way, we can give, because we truly love.

His Love is amazing! I want it to resonate in me, and through me. I want it to be the light that emanates within me. Let me not take the power of His Love for granted. I receive it freely, yet the price was so costly. Let me never forget what my Savior endured, all for the sake of Love. And would you believe it, not only does He love me, He loves you too!

*My original image from San Sebastian, Spain.

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