Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Like vs. Love

Below is a facebook note posted by an acquaintance of our daughter, Leland Dantzler. Hope you enjoy!

You say, "I love him/her!" I say, "No, you like him/her..."I've heard it before, you've heard it before; you might have even said it before: "I love my boyfriend." Or, "If you really love me, you'll let me..." Or the worst ever, "I love you."What am I talking about? The word "love". Specifically, that word used incorrectly. In the good ol' days, "love" was not something to be trifled with. It wasn't something to be played with, or some silly little phrase to be tossed at a potential boyfriend/girlfriend. It's noteworthy that the phrase "Love at first sight" wasn't really invented until quite recently. That's because, up until around the last century, love was serious. It wasn't something you said or gave unless it was sincere, mature, and, if you were a Christian, pure.Love has been dethroned. Stripped of its power. Its beauty has faded on us...or, more accurately, we have caused it to fade. What the heck am I talking about? I'll tell you: Our generation doesn't know what love is."Quite simply, we're clueless. We think love is chocolates on Valentine's, passionate kisses, or fluttering hearts. We use "I think I love you" as a pick-up line for a girl or guy we'll hate within a week. Love has been stereotyped as that gushy, emotional, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling that guys don't talk about, and that girls always dream about. But none of that is love. None.Love is so much more than attraction. I'm so tired of hearing people say that they "love" someone. Quite frankly, they don't. The girl who says "He's perfect. I love him!" really just means that she likes him until she finds his faults. Once he slips a notch on the "Prince Charming-meter," he's gone like yesterday. Or, the guy who croons "She's so hot. I just love her..." What he really means is that, if another girl comes along who's prettier, then this "love" of his will mysteriously disappear. It's conditional, and that's the problem. This is called "liking" someone, not loving someone. You like someone because he or she makes you feel good, or because he's sweet, or she's hot, or whatever. You don't love someone because of his or her cute is not about feelings. Whoa, let me say that again. Love isn't about feelings. Did you catch that?Then what the heck is love? I've told you what love isn't. Now let me tell you what love is.Love is a choice.People don't realize that nowadays. That's where the stupid "We fell in love" came into being. Oh, right, check, you were just walking along one day, tripped, and found yourself "madly in love" with someone you hardly even knew two minute ago. "Madly in love" is just as dumb; like, only a complete idiot or insane person could love. Those phrases treat love as our society does: Like love is something you're thrown into, captured by, or, worst, something you feel. Love is not "Ooh, I like you right now, and you haven't hurt me yet, and, heck, you're even cute, so...I love you! Well, at least until you do anything bad. Then I hate you." No, no, no. All wrong.Love is choosing to love someone in spite of who he or she is. It's saying "You are more important to me than what I feel. No matter what you do, who you are, what you say, or how you feel, I will always be there for you; I will never leave you because of something you did that hurt me. Even if I don't like you at some time, I will always love you."Love isn't based on actions, feelings, words, or looks. You see, love is not conditional; it doesn't change. Love isn't taken back when someone does something wrong or mean. It doesn't disappear when someone is being a jerk. It doesn't hide its head when you don't feel like loving someone. That's because love doesn't base itself off of anything but a single choice. Love does not waver in a relationship depending on who likes who because it is stronger than feelings. Its strength is found in its innate ability to continue on even when the attraction fades. It is more beautiful than anything else because it survives hardships, pain, humiliation, envy, anger, anything. Please don't abuse such a powerful term. It sickens me when I hear someone who has been going out with her boyfriend for three days say "We're in love." Not only is it completely and totally wrong and untrue, it's hurtful to the other person. It's saying that you are pretending to be there for him through the thick and thin, but you really only want him as long as he wants you. Anytime things get rough, you're gone. Really old married couples know what real love is. Ask one. Did they always like each other? Heck, no. They were often so mad that they wanted to kill the other. However, they still loved each other. That means that they didn't give up on each other because of faults, short-comings, or wrinkly skin. Their love ran deeper than that. They were in it for the long fun, regardless of what was thrown their way.Why all this rambling? I'm just tired of seeing people my age throwing themselves onto every good-looking person who walks by, claiming that "love" has overtaken them. The person doing the "loving" is wrong, as is the person who thinks that they're being loved. It's OK to like someone, don't get me wrong. But do yourself and everyone else a favor and only say you like them. In case you didn't understand what love is from my ranting, try this perfection: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ---"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.Main points to remember: liking someone is conditional...but loving someone is not.

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