Love: A Not So Concise Definition

Love: A Not So Concise Definition

What it is, what it's not and what it should be.

In the Greek language, there are four words for love: agape, phileo, eros and storge. Each of these different "loves" encompasses a different type of relationship—agape is total love, eros is sexual love, etc. But in the English language, all we get is one little four letter word. Yes, it's understood that when someone says "I love cheese puffs," they're not referring to the same love as when they say "I love my boyfriend" (unless they have some issues they're working through, but that's just weird and I'm going to stay away from that). Still, that tiny, simple word, is incredibly powerful. The depth of meaning behind it is enormous. Think about it. Humanity is centered around the need and desire for love. We are constantly searching for fulfillment in relationships—family, friends, significant others, spouses—unless you're a monk (and even most of them don't live in complete solitude), you find some sort of satisfaction in at least one other person. But what really is love?

Love is sacrifice. It's giving of yourself when you have nothing left to give. It's not keeping score. There's a cliche that says we accept the love we think we deserve, but is that really even love?

Love is not proving your worth. It's not proving that you deserve it.

No, real love, love in its truest form, is unconditional. It is given freely and not taken back, no matter how much or how little it is deserved. You can't earn love. Acceptance, yes. Friendship, sometimes (though it would likely be a shallow one). But love? Never. It's a decision, a daily one, to give patience, forgiveness, time and self. It's a repeated devotion to grace. Love does not judge. It does not condemn. Love sees a person, with all their flaws, all their brokenness, and says "What can I do for you?"

Love is not physical attraction, though I think sometimes our society thinks that. Romantic love is usually evident through physical actions, but that does not mean those things are love. Hugging, hand-holding, kissing and even sex are side effects of love. But they can also be side effects of lust. There is a massive difference between the two. While love sees the soul, lust struggles to get past the body. It's selfish. It's dangerous. It can destroy relationships because lust sees a person and all of their physical features and says "What can you do for me?"

Love is also correction. It's having the guts (and sometimes, the hard words) to tell someone they're wrong. It's caring enough to tell someone they should stop being stupid, but understanding enough to know how to say it. Love, when it is reciprocated, is a constant push-and-pull of strengthening each other's character. It's challenging someone to be the best that they can be. Love is not accepting of mediocre attempts. It sees potential and pushes for it.

As a Christian, I have found that the only source of perfect, unconditional love comes from a perfect, eternal God.

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—" Ephesians 2:4-5

I'm just as messed up and broken and confused and lost as anyone. I have done nothing to deserve any form of love. And yet, I am loved and chosen and saved by a God who knows my flaws better than I. That love, the kind that says "You are mine, for whom I have a perfect and wonderful plan" is the love that has put me through countless trials and hardships. I have been overwhelmed by it in moments of peace, but also moments of fear, moments of grief, moments of complete and utter emptiness. For, in being emptied of myself, I'm filled with a love I could never have on my own.

My God is a God of love. The God of love. I am broken and flawed, but my worthiness was not and never will be a factor. I have been saved by sacrifice and by grace, and I am constantly being put through trials so that I can grow stronger. That is ultimate love.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Notre Dame Cathedral–Such A Loss Of History And Beauty, But What A Gift It Was To Experience It

Reid shares her story as she is saddened for Paris and the church.


After the massive fire that devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the 850-year-old cathedral's spire fell. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to share in the nation's sorrow but gave hope for the future. This includes the rebuilding of the cathedral together and making it more beautiful than ever. "The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched," Macron said.

Tyler Reid

Among many others, Tyler Reid is saddened for Paris and the church. Although, she counts herself blessed to have seen it such a short time before it was destroyed. Reid, who was lucky enough to visit the amazing structure this past spring break, remarked:

My trip was filled with so many wonderful sites. Although, because Notre Dame carries the title of most-visited monument in Europe, my expectations were high. When I first walked up, there isn't one specific feeling I got; instead, it was more of a million thoughts running though my head. Once inside, looking at the massive stained glass windows combined with all the details in every crevice, it was hard for me to imagine people actually building this without the technology we have today. This hand crafted masterpiece really is so influential considering people still went there to worship, even after so much time has past and so many other cathedrals had been built. This proves how special the Notre Dame Cathedral really is. Due to my experience here, hearing about the fire hurt my heart, especially thinking about how some of the irreplaceable artworks and all of this history may be gone. This place truly influenced people, including me, and for it to be gone is a true tragedy.

Like Macron, Reid shares in the sorrow; although, for her, it was just from one visit. This proves the amazing impact the Notre Dame Cathedral had and hopefully will continue to have even after this devastation.

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