What Makes us Love Someone – or Something?

What does it mean to love?

Someone told me once that love, in the textbook definition, was basically recognizing value in the other person. I’d not heard this before, strangely. However, love is so many different things that valuing someone is only covering one aspect.

I have decided that recognizing value in another human being is the most sufficient reason for loving them. The textbook definition is lacking since love can be both a verb and a noun. It makes the most sense though to me – you love someone because you find value in them. You especially love people that you care about and are close to because they have incredible value to you. Christian love is for all people because all people are recognized as human beings that God created with a reason and a purpose for their life. Animals are to be loved for the same reason.

At this point I feel downright dumb for not having come to this conclusion much sooner. Love is so complex though, that I think there are a good number of people that would be surprised by the simplicity of this definition. However, it is the ways in which love is shared, felt, expressed, given, and received that make it so difficult to fully understand for anyone.

Of course, the Bible gives a clear image of the characteristics of love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.”

Love is defined in many different ways, for many different purposes. We may even “love” inanimate objects, at which point the textbook definition of love does apply since it pertains to the value that we perceive from a given object. What is it that makes us throw ourselves aside for another person? Why do we assign certain items a sentimental value? Yes, some objects bring back fond memories, but wouldn’t we be capable of re-thinking about those memories ourselves? Love has always been an interesting topic to me. What do you think? Do you hold a noticeably strong sentimental value to certain items? Why do you think that is?

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Posted on June 19, 2008, in Life, Love, Relationships, Religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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