In every persons life the two questions that may haunt or excite tend to be based around purpose and love. We all want to know what it is that our lives mean. And, undoubtedly we all want love. No one will be able to specifically tell you what it is that you are supposed to do with your life, other than God. But, the more I study and grow I understand that there is a specific relationship between purpose and love. Which is this, your purpose above anything else is to love. First and foremost is to love God, and then to love people. You can never properly carry out the latter without succeeding at the former. If I were to sit down and write everything that I have learned about love in the past few months I could probably have my first book written already (one day in Jesus’ name). But, today I want to share these things that I feel people need to read when it comes to love.
A true test of love in anyone’s life is the commitment to, or commitment from an individual(s). Commitment is the cemented decision of heart and mind to remain in spite of circumstance. Commitment is follow through. It is the action after the word. It takes little effort to say that you love someone. Sometimes it requires no effort at all. You will always see the measure of how much you love someone by the circumstances you are willing to stick around through. Loving someone in the context of its actual meaning requires you to love not only the good, but also more importantly the bad. That means embracing their past and loving their future. It means learning to love them in spite, and because, of their flaws. In some cases, it means loving them when they are too afraid to love you back. I am a romantic guy. I believe in buying flowers for no reason. I believe in leaving surprises outside of doorsteps and windows. I believe in cute texts in the morning and at night before bed. Which is cute for a while and will flourish love, but commitment sustains love. I feel safe speaking for woman when I say they prefer dependability to flowers. In your own life, would you prefer to have someone who makes you feel better for a while to someone who may not always have the right words, but you know that through all your seasons, good and bad, will remain unflinching. Commitment can only be tested in the darkest depths of trial. When you are at your worst. Or, when the present course of your life appears to be completely bleak and fruitless, who is at your side? Are you willing to be there for the person you love when the roles are reversed? Commitment is the fruit of sincere love. This isn’t an attempt to make light or oversimplify such a decision. Committing to something as unpredictable as humans and their emotions is scary. It is also tiring; because whether we choose to admit it we are finite beings. Our patience and grace eventually will burn out if the person we are trying to commit to is dragging us through a roller coaster of highs and lows. Sometimes we have to accept that our willingness to commit may be the only fruit we will ever see in that relationship. But, when we find the person/people that can return our investment then on that day love is untouchable.
The word no one likes and has become outdated in our generation is indeed sacrifice. It’s like a cuss word among the proud. But, true love merits sacrifice. The aspect of love that people have a hard time understanding is that it is in its purest form selfless. We have this idea that giving love mandates an exact or greater reciprocation. The balancing act is the understanding that when you truly love someone your wants become less and their needs become greater. Sacrifice promotes an agreement of pure intention and emotion. If we can subtract how we feel, divide our expectations, multiply nobility, and add understanding the sum is real love. Much like commitment, sacrifice is no easier a feat. To be completely forthcoming it is probably the hardest characteristic of love there is. We are selfish beings by nature. Our concern for our lives are based on our own needs, wants, and desires. To love someone means to redraw the lines of your comfort zone in an attempt to make room for harmony between you and the one you love. Giving things up is something that requires practice. It is a habit that must be created. It has to be a daily conscious decision. You have to believe in faith that what you are laying things down for is worth it, even when circumstances show themselves to be contrary. If you really want someone to believe you love them let your actions show that the improving quality of their life is you’re hearts desire. In a perfect world the love we give would be returned to us in greater measure the instant it is poured out. But, we as people lack the presence of mind to appreciate gifts in the moment. It takes time for us to process the emotion and motive behind every action. To love someone means you have to be willing to give up time, energy, emotion and effort. You have to be willing to lay down your vision of a perfect relationship and build from the bottom up one that you both can commit to and feel equal appreciation. Love is in the giving of yourself to someone else, whether or not they give themselves back. If you love only to see your efforts returned then what you’re looking for is not love, but false comfort in a relationship sustained on empty obligatory action. Love was created to be given without mutual gain.
If you’re like me, some of us find that the person or people we love most are people that are no longer directly in our lives. Through courses of action outside of our control we find ourselves in a place unable to express our love to them in the ways I wrote about above. So how do we continue to love them when we can no longer commit to them, or make them see what we are willing to give up for them? My answer: Commit to the sacrifice. If you find yourself in a position that no longer provides the opportunity to voice that you are there for better or worse. When you can no longer be the person who stands with them through the storms of their life, and support them. If you can’t commit directly to them, commit then to placing what they want before what you want. Even if you don’t agree. Even if you are certain that you know better. Some people aren’t ready to love the way you might be. In fact, they may be completely terrified to love the way you love. Whether they are running, avoiding, or completely ignoring it you can make the decision to commit to making your opinion and your actions supportive, even if it is the opposite of how you feel and what you know. Sometimes people need to run to the edge of themselves before they can deal with what they need to deal with. And, even when every part of you knows that you can help you have to sacrifice how you feel and let them run themselves ragged. You can’t control whether or not someone is going to accept the love you are offering. You can, however, control your decision to love them in spite of their awareness of it. I wish I could tell you that loving this way would promise restoration in all your relationships, but the truth is some people just aren’t ready. There are people who would rather run in circles and entertain fruitless endeavors for fear of the immensity of love. But, their actions should not dictate your affection for them. Committing to the sacrifice is a decision that is made in spite of emotion. You may never see the return of love from whom you invest in, and if they prove unwilling you will at least be able to recognize it in someone else.