Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Many people seem to struggle when it comes to relationships. Our culture has morphed love into Instagram engagement competitions, wedding hashtags and honeymoon travel photographs. So, how do we know what love is? How do we make it last?
I thought I would see what some people around Taylor University have to say about dating, marriage and all things love. I asked people in different stages of life a few questions. Here are their answers:
How would you define love?
What would be an ideal date?
How do/did you know they are “the one?”
Jourdan Lehman | Single
“Love is not just a feeling, but an action that you have to choose to participate in daily.”
“My dream date would be to first we will go make dinner with Guy Fieri and eat with him. After that, we will head to a secluded park and Justin Bieber will be there and he will give us a private concert under the stars. Then we will hop on his private jet with him and spend the night in Rome. All my favorite things in one.”
“I think when I see him loving God first and others second before loving himself.”
Hannah Sargent | Engaged
“I define love as two parts. Desiring union with the beloved and desiring the best for the beloved. I think of “there is no greater love than this that a man would lay down their life for someone else.” So selflessness, listening, encouraging and the fruit of the spirit is a really good active way to practice loving.”
“My favorite date post-high school was when Joe (fiancé) got into medical school, I surprised him with a day in Indianapolis. We watched a movie and spent some time with his family and went out to eat at a nice restaurant. I just like celebrating him. At this point what makes a good date is getting to spend time with him. No matter what we are doing it is fun. The most fun part of even a fancy date is that it's comfortable and you just feel at home.”
“I knew that I thought I wanted to marry Joe when I was eight, but I knew I really wanted to marry him when we had gone through big life transitions together. We had both gone through tough life events and I was impressed by his consistency and love for God, me and others. It was less of one defining moment and more of a bunch of small admirable moments. ”
Bill Ringenberg | Married for 58 years
“Valentine’s Day focuses upon romantic love. This is a very important, usually common, but not absolutely necessary component of marital love. What is an even more important, somewhat less common, but vital component of marital love is a mutual commitment to the welfare of one another — and to the institution of marriage. Good marriages work through problems over which less committed marriages dissolve.”
“Common interests also make marriage easier. An ideal date would involve sitting together, holding hands while enjoying something inspiring and excellent about God’s creation, whether it be the beauties of nature, human excellence in music, drama, or film, or a well-honed athletic team working together toward a common goal.”
“We met in my first teaching position after graduating from Taylor. Leo High School was the Community School in my family home area. It, like Becky’s home community of Berne, Indiana, was a historic, nineteenth-century Swiss Mennonite immigrant settlement. The more a couple has in common, the easier it is for initial romantic interest to develop into a permanent partnership. Taylor couples have an advantage in this respect.”
Love isn't just about feelings, it's about action. Be aware of how you act and how the people you love act.
This type of selfless love doesn't just apply to romantic relationships. We can love friends, family and everyone around us with this love.
As Christians, we have the best book of instructions—the Bible—and the perfect example of unconditional love—love from God that we don’t deserve. If we look to Him as our example, we can know exactly what the definition if love is: “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,” reads 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
If we concentrate on loving people according to the example Christ gives us, we don’t have to worry about hashtags or honeymoons, we know we will always have his perfect love.