What is love?
Love is a force… However much we may want to, we can not command, demand, or take away love, any more than we can command the moon and the stars and the wind and the rain to come and go according to our whims. We may have some limited ability to change the weather, but we do so at the risk of upsetting an ecological balance we don’t fully understand. Similarly, we can stage a seduction or mount a courtship, but the result is more likely to be infatuation, or two illusions dancing together, than love.
Love is bigger than you are. … Love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it — not for any amount of money. Love cannot be imprisoned, nor can it be legislated… Love has no territory, no borders, no quantifiable mass or energy output.
One can buy sex partners and even marriage partners. Marriage is a matter for the law, for rules and courts and property rights. In the past, the marriage price, or dowry, and in the present, alimony and the pre-nuptial agreement, make it clear that marriage is all about contracts. But as we all know, marriages, whether arranged or not, may have little to do with love…
One can buy loyalty, companionship, attention, and perhaps even compassion, but love itself cannot be bought…
Love cannot be turned on as a reward. It cannot be turned off as a punishment. Only something else pretending to be love can be used as a lure, as a hook, for bait and switch, imitated, insinuated, but the real deal can never be delivered if it doesn’t spring freely from the heart.
This doesn’t mean that love allows destructive and abusive behaviors to go unchecked. Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others. Love allows room for anger, grief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it doesn’t get what it wants. Love does not say, directly or indirectly, “If you are a bad boy, Mommy won’t love you any more.” Love does not say, “Daddy’s little girl doesn’t do that.” Love does not say, “If you want to be loved, you must be nice,” or “Do what I want,” or “Never love anyone else,” or “Promise you’ll never leave me.”
Love cares what becomes of you, because love knows that we are all interconnected. Love is inherently compassionate and empathic. Love knows that the “other” is also oneself. This is the true nature of love, and love itself can not be manipulated or restrained. Love honors the sovereignty of each soul. Love is its own law.
The word love is thrown around to say what you feel when you have a type of feeling for someone or something. It usually is coined incorrectly. Usually, it is misused for infatuation or physical attraction. The greek words best describe the types.
Eros: Love for sexuality. The word Erotic is rooted at eros.
Philia: The love for a brother or sister. The word Philadelphia is rooted at philia.
Storge: Love for parents.
Agape: The fatherly love. Unconditional love. This is what God love is like.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.