We use that word a lot. It’s a very popular word, isn’t it? So many meanings, so many feelings attached to it, so many experiences. We think we know what it means but honestly it’s been distorted, misrepresented, and misunderstood. It’s been misused so much that perhaps we’ve lost sight of its true meaning.
Some refuse to accept where it comes from, while others act like they don’t need it, and others try to convince us that it’s just a basic function of the brain.
Pat Benetar said it’s a battlefield. John Lennon said it’s all you need. Fun. said you ought to let someone know it.
To be honest, it’s a word we’ve all thrown around in some glib reference to ice cream or a football team like it’s a word that’s interchangeable between products and people, and I’m not trying to knock that. But this word, ‘love.’ Can we really define it? Is it too ambiguous, too morphed from its original meaning, too mysterious to understand?
If we can’t understand the word, how are we supposed to feel it? How are we supposed to act in it? How do we know what we have so we don’t let it go?
Agape. That’s the real language of love that I’m talking about. The kind of love we’re all longing for and nothing else even comes close. It’s the kind of love that when demonstrated properly changes everything. It’s an act of unconditional love.
It’s the kind of love that says I’ll never think of myself first. Everything I do is for someone else. It’s a kind of love that says I’ll be rejected, so you can be accepted. I’ll be humiliated so you can be lifted up.
It’s a kind of love that says I’ll sit this one out for the good of the team. I’ll move to the back so my friend can move up front. It’s a rare love that proves its merit by action. The kind that wakes up in the morning and asks, “How can I out serve everyone around me today?”
It’s a motivational love that says don’t worry because I’ve got your back. You can do all things with me on your side. The kind of love that says I’m with you for the duration and won’t leave you. I will provide for you. I’ll lay down with you in the lows of your life and stand up with you in the highs. It’s a kind of love that says I will go before you in battle.
It whispers I love you, and it shouts I’m your best friend. It leads you to what is real and true, and steers you from harm. It’s a kind of love that can’t be earned, can’t be bought, that won’t leave you, won’t forsake you, and won’t misjudge you.
It’s a rare kind of love that will tackle you to the ground so you won’t fall off a cliff. It’s a kind of love that’s better than life. Stronger than death. It’s patient, it’s kind. It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.
Agape love is unmerited, unmovable, unshakable, undeniable, indestructible, secure, sensitive and straightforward. It’s a kind of love that builds up, seeks the sad, and befriends enemies. It corrects, it guides, it comforts, and it reassures.
In simplest terms, and maybe most complete definition…it’s a kind of love that says you’re more important to me than I’ll ever be to myself.
Love somebody today. And if you do, let them know.
(Not the way you love Nutella.)