Photo by epSOS.de, via Flickr.

Photo by epSOS.de, via Flickr.

We originally published this post a year ago, but with Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we’d dust it off and pull it out of the archives. It’s timeless, really – what does love mean to you?

Love: It’s a word we use a lot. But what exactly is love?

Shakespeare tells us that “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

A 1950s song and film tell us that “Love is a many-splendored thing, it’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring.”

There are books about the five “love languages,” with quizzes to find out how one receives and communicates love. A Christian couple offer has an entire ministry devoted to “Love and Respect.”

Karol Wojtyła, who would later become, Pope John Paul II, wrote a book called “Love and Responsibility.” Among other things, he wrote:

Love consists of a commitment which limits one’s freedom – it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one’s freedom on behalf of another.

Baha’u'llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith, offered these words:

In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold.

One often-quoted passage of the Bible has this to say:

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.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV

From Buddha, we get this:

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.

The Persian poet Rumi, who was a Sufi mystic, begins one of his poems this way:

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

What does love mean to you? Leave a comment, and share your viewpoint. 

1 Comment

  1. Kelsey Gillespy

    I love the passage from 1 Corinthians, but I probably have a soft spot for it because I read it at my brother’s wedding. Another great shout out to love is in 1 John 4:8 saying that God IS love. So to me (now that I know God and am surrounded by people who show God’s love to me) feeling love means feeling God. In fact, because the word “love” has been so commercialized, sometimes it doesn’t fully encapsulate how I feel about someone. I often tell my husband that “I God him” because the two words are interchangeable in my mind. Saying I want to show him God, however, feels more accurate in how I truly feel.

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