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defining LOve

Discussion in 'Terrific Thirties' started by look4hope, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    Hello all. So here in the states we are already celebrating Valentine's Day. It starts way before the actual day arrives, which is, sometimes....stressful. What do we get for those in our lives that mean something to us, what would be the perfect way to show our affection and appreciation that we lack to express during the other "not so exciting" days?

    Anyway, here's your chance to tell us what your definition of love is. Which ever kind of love you have. How has your view (definition) of love changed through out the years?
    Has entering the world of 30s, made you more mindful of others when it comes to love?

    I'll start-
    My definition of love is, nurturing. Considering one another. Respect. Humbly aware of each other's imperfections. Accepting. A goofy, silly and corny greeting card.
    I believe the way I see love now, is much more empathetic than previous years. More patient, more....meaningful.

    Your turn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  2. heliumskylark

    heliumskylark Member

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    Let's be honest guys, we're all in our thirties, how many of us grew up on this? :tearsofjoy:

    I think the word that came to my mind in response to your question was "humanity". I work in maternity and sexual health, and you come across all kinds of people, and all kinds of couples / couple dynamics. Some people and couples are easy to love almost immediately, and some become easier to love once you see their humanity. It applies as much at work as it does in my marriage, or other family relationships / friendships. I'm not sure that that's a clear explanation - I think it ties into what you were saying about empathy and being aware (and I would add accommodating) of people's imperfections. Perhaps what I'm thinking of is more compassion than love, but I think the two go hand in hand.
    A bit of a half-formed response I'm afraid! It's a big question to try and answer in a paragraph :)
     
  3. royal priest

    royal priest debtor to grace

    +1,235
    United States
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    Your post is very sweet and has the potential to draw some really encouraging comments. I hope my post doesn't detract from it. I started with a response which shared some difficult experiences which led to much growth. I struggled with how to put things just right. I felt I was making it too much about me and not enough about the Lord.
    Then, I realized I could just share a hymn which I've always regarded as a personal testimony of God's dealings with me as one who often prays for growth. It doesn't have to do exclusively with love, but it's theme there and so are the aspects of experience, and growth. I hope sharing this proves to be a blessing to others. It was written by the great John Newton. (Note: the reference to gourds has to do with the prophet, Jonah's temporal comfort from the oppressive heat)

    I asked the Lord that I might grow
    In faith, and love, and every grace;
    Might more of His salvation know,
    And seek, more earnestly, His face.

    ’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
    And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
    But it has been in such a way,
    As almost drove me to despair.

    I hoped that in some favored hour,
    At once He’d answer my request;
    And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
    Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

    Instead of this, He made me feel
    The hidden evils of my heart;
    And let the angry pow’rs of hell
    Assault my soul in every part.

    Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
    Intent to aggravate my woe;
    Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
    Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

    Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
    Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
    “’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
    I answer prayer for grace and faith.

    These inward trials I employ,
    From self, and pride, to set thee free;
    And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
    That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

    --John Newton, 1779
     
  4. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    @heliumskylark
    Lol where did you find that vid?
    Got me busting some moves here!

    Humanity. I completely agree. That one word describes Love perfectly.

    @royal priest
    What a lovely reply! Thank you so much for sharing a John Newton's hymn- a good fit for this post :)
     
  5. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    Patience!!! Love equals patience!
     
  6. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    [[understanding]]
    :)
     
  7. YankeeGirl

    YankeeGirl Well-Known Member

    +2,877
    Christian
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    I like this thread. I think that real love requires forgiveness. There is no relationship or friendship that can survive bitterness or a grudge. Everyone is imperfect and has faults. At some point, someone we love will do something to frustrate or disappoint us. We need to be ready and willing to lay aside our pride and offence and truly forgive. Sometimes this can mean letting small things go without making a deal out of them. That can be really hard to do especially when we are offended. LOVE doesn't keep a record of others faults.

    Forgiveness also requires honesty. There are times that we need to be direct with our spouse or friend and explain to them how they have offended us. If the offence isn't minor and eating away at us we can't truly forgive without honesty. Some people hate confrontation and just try to let things go without resolving the issue. They aren't truly forgiving but repressing their frustration
     
  8. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    @YankeeGirl
    I totally and absolutely agree with that. Forgiveness. It's hard to think any type of relationship could survive with out it. It is something I've been struggling with and I see no sense on much with out forgiveness.
     
  9. YankeeGirl

    YankeeGirl Well-Known Member

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    I know it can be tough. It is even more difficult to forgive when those who should care about us hurt us. I think the hardest part (for me) is having to accept that some people will never truly get why their behavior was offensive. I think sometimes what we really want most is the other person to comprehend and admit that their behavior was wrong. It is much easier to forgive when the other person is very sorry and understands why we are offended. The tough times require us to seek God for grace to give us the forgiveness that we don't easily feel.

    I read a beautiful story about this. Corrie Ten Boom (author of the hiding place) lost her whole family after they were sentenced to prison and concentration camps. They were caught protecting Jews during the Holocaust.Years after being freed from the camp, she was ministering in a church. One of the former guards from the camp who had mocked and mistreated her had found salvation and had come to ask her forgiveness. He came up to her with his hand outstretched asking for her forgiveness.
    The following excerpt from her book explains this so well.

    “And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

    “And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

    “ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’

    “For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  10. look4hope

    look4hope Love.Fellowship.Joy Supporter

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    Yes. Absolutely yes. For those that we love or care for and hurt us, and do not get it. I can honestly say that it is one of the most painfully frustrating feelings/emotion for me.
    And and makes me just want to implode.

    Also, forgiving ourselves (myself) is probably the hardest for me. I've done stupid stuff in my life, and I can't seem to move on. I can pretend is all peachy....fake smile and laugh, but deep inside, with out that forgiveness....it is just eating me up.


    And wow! What a story. Thank you so much for sharing :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  11. YankeeGirl

    YankeeGirl Well-Known Member

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    I think we will always feel regret over the things we have done that were wrong or foolish. I wish I could redo certain moments. I think the regret is a natural by product of feeling Godly sorrow over our sins.

    I don't know if this will help you at all, but I think the right outlook is to give God our failures and mistakes and ask him to give us peace. I think of the verse in Romans 6: Knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed , that henceforth we might serve him. I would view these mistakes as your past that was crucified and buried with Christ.

    I think one of the most effective tactics of the devil is to plague our minds with self doubt and make us give up or despair that we can't succeed in following Christ. I don't know if you have ever read the book Pilgrim's Progress. There is a chapter called the Valley of Humiliation. In the chapter, Christian, who has already been to the cross and found salvation, gets attacked by the devil (Apollyon). He uses many tactics to discourage Christian. His final and most devastating tactic is that he reminds Christian of all the times he has failed Christ or taken a wrong turn on his journey. He tells him that he might as well just give up or turn back since God would never accept such a failure. Christian only overcomes by placing his faith in Christ ( shield of faith) and through scripture ( sword of the spirit).
    The verse that he recites as he defeats the devil is " in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." I think it is easier to move forward if you focus on the fact that Christ now abides in you and will work in your life to complete his work of transformation of your life. You and I have both failed and screwed up on our own. Now, it is Christ's grace that will enable us to overcome and conquer our past mistakes.

    Since this thread is about love, I think the love of God is wonderful and inexplicable. He considers our past life of sin and foolish makes to be dead and buried upon our repentance and faith in him. He considers us new creations with a blank slate at our conversion. We all have come to him totally messed up and he gives us a new beginning. My favorite hymn is "O, The Deep, Deep love of Jesus."
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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