Love is defined in several facets

Jean Michel Basquin

Jean Michel Basquin

You might be still having candy or chocolate or even romance hangover from Valentine’s Day weekend, or feeling not cared for because nobody cared to give you anything. That’s okay too, because there are times to be loved, and times to love.

Maybe it was that time when you needed to show your love for others instead of waiting to be loved. Did you give anything to anyone? I mean: did you try to do something that would make someone else happy regardless of your relationship with that person or those who would benefit from your action?

Yeah, you may begin to wonder: what is he up to? Or, ask yourself: how do I love others if no one loves me? I hope your perception of the subject matter will change after reading this article.

You may be surprised to find out all the concepts hidden behind this four-letter word:

L-O-V-E. Love is so much the exact opposite of “hate” that they are both spelled with four letters. Is there anything in between the two? Well, let’s not get into that for now.

The ‘Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible’ defines ‘love’ in several contexts namely the human love, Divine love, and man’s love of God. While the last two refer to God’s love for humanity and our response to such love, the human love deals with the aspects of life you would think of such as “sexual love, family love, and friendship and human society.”

To a certain extent, this definition gravitates around what Jesus called the foundation of all the commandments, “Love God with all your heart, … and love your neighbor as yourself”, which seems to leave out romantic love that we all long for or seek to express as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Well, Jesus refers to Himself as the spouse of the Universal Church while Apostle Paul urges men to love their wives just as Jesus loves the church. The Apostle continues saying that “the man who loves his wife love himself.” This is to say that romantic love has always been and will always be part of the picture, but the picture is larger than that.

Showing our love for one another regardless of our ties to the other person is the foundation of the Christian Church. In 2 John 1: 6, the Apostle defines love as “living the way God commands us to live. As you have learned from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.”

In 1 Corinthians 13, Apostle Paul wrote: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I am bankrupt without love.” Isn’t this a way to say, “Life without love (the unconditional) is worthless”? I’ll let you think about it.

In sum, while you are probably still in the spirit of or missing the celebration of love at Valentine’s Day, I would like to remind you that love is much deeper than romance which is significant part of our lives. If that’s the only aspect of love that you seek to express or long for, I am afraid that your happiness may be ephemeral.

Even the love we have for our “significant other” needs to have its roots deeper than romantic love and reach far beyond it. When it comes to love, is it exaggerated to say that romance is not the cake, but the ice of the cake? I don’t think so. If you think the contrary, please think again. If no love was shown to you for Valentine’s Day, it is not too late for you to start expressing your love for others “for it is in giving that we are given unto.”

Also, remember that “Agape,” the unconditional love, is something that we express every day of our lives and toward everyone who crosses our paths.

Jean Michel Basquin leads the United Methodist Campus Ministry at SDSU. You may contact him at [email protected].