Love

So much is said about it...written about it...and especially sung about it that you can (as so many have) make it mean whatever you want. Unless you know the truth, you'll mislead yourself into thinking that what you have experienced, the way others have made you feel, or the commitments you hold to are a healthy and proper display of love. 

Love is a deliberate agreement of the wills based in principle and duty. Two people openly agree to and decide to love, and share their love. With each other, then with others.

Love is wide, emphasizing that it should be present in the head, the heart, and the hands. Love that is purely of the heart, or based only on emotion, is not love. Love that is purely of the head, where everything is a calculated benefit, is not love. Love that is purely of the hands, or only about meeting physical needs, is not love. Love becomes stagnant when we limit our scope of expressing love to just one of these.

Love is all these things: of the heart, of the head, and of the hands. If you're truly loving, it will be emotional, you will have to act deliberately to benefit one another, and act to meet their physical needs. Understanding this opens you up to the beauty of love. To fully experience love, and to give love as it has been given to you, you will (need to) sacrifice everything else. 

Love is complete and alive when we consider how we can spur each other on toward love and good deeds. What good is the love you have for another person if it doesn't spur the two of you to something greater and more profound. 

The truth is that love, while deep and wide, and covers all offenses, and leads us to great relationships, isn't the only facet to a strong relationship. There's a whole other side to relating to each other that requires honor and respect. This is usually where our relationships break down first, and once respect and honor are dissolved then love follows suit. 

I am in no way downplaying the value and effect love has in our relationships, but our culture says "love is all you need"  and that doesn't tell the whole story. Love is the greatest piece, and when we love completely, adding honor and respect, we have what's necessary for strong lasting relationships.

Honor, respect, and love each other. Spark each other to love, and watch the fire start blazing!