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Defining Love ..

The past few days have been crazy days. My poor husband has been up and down and down again in his health. Between an ER and doctor visit, it has been busy. These are the type of days that can be discouraging. Whether it is a negative coworker, an exhausting friendship, or a challenging family member, there are times when we just want to give up on people and feel as though all of our love and patience has run out. My husband did not fall into this category of discouragement and despair, but there were a few others that did. There is that obstacle of loving people who are hard to love. I believe in these circumstances we need to be reminded of the truth, of the reality that we have access to a love that is always giving, selfless, real, and true.

Our ability to love is a heart issue. We have to realize that there are times that we may have the completely wrong definition of love. To have true love is action, it takes courage and vulnerability. It is a giving rather than a taking. Being a caretaker is a great example of this. Most days, all of my strength and effort goes into taking care of my husband. Sometimes it can be a bit much as I have responsibilities of employment, home, and surroundings. Summer is busy with gardens and fields and animals. There are days that sleep is an after thought. And yet, I would not trade my world for any other. We have to be careful that we are not loving out of our own strength because it ends in selfishness and bitterness because we are trying to get something out of giving love and if we don't get anything in return, we are resentful.

What makes a person hard to love? Is it the way that they treat you or others around you? Is it the way that they conduct their business or work? Is it that their words cut so deep or the way that they gossip about people you love? Sometimes the way we see others is not out of love and so it is difficult to love them. Sometimes we do not understand why people are the way they are and play the victim instead of trying to know them better in a deeper way, understanding challenges they have faced and what they have gone through enough to make them act in the ways that they do.

Everybody is responsible for their own actions and choices but we have the ability to be patient with others and realize with some people are left with scars in their lives that affect them on a day-to-day basis. If you try to love people out of your feelings for them, it will result in inconsistency because feelings change and people do things that frustrate and offend us. When we have the mindset that giving is far better than receiving, we will love selflessly and well.