What is Love?

Some time ago, my husband and I asked our children to share their definition of love. “What is love?”

Isabel, our oldest and being the compassionate one, said: “Love is when you let someone in your heart because you love them so much. But there’s still room in your heart because you don’t have to love just one person.”

Abigail, our second one and the blunt one, said: “Love is when you are nice to someone and they are nice back to you. And they don’t want to hit you back.”

Some time ago, a group of professionals, with the goal of finding the most caring child, asked a group of 4 to 8 year-old children how they define “love.”

A few had equally interesting answers:
  • Billy, age 4, said: When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
  • Karl, age 5, said: Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and they go out and smell each other.
  • Tommy, age 6, said: Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.
  • Nikka, age 6, said: If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate.
  • Jessica, age 8, said: You really shouldn’t say “I love you” unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.
But the most memorable answer of this research was a little four-year-old child whose neighbor, an elderly gentleman, had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went to him, climbed on his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he said to their neighbor, the little boy merely replied, “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”
In the busyness of our lives, we often forget the simple truths about love – that love begins with loving someone unlovable; that love should not be assumed then left unspoken. We take for granted that they know we love them. But loving someone means letting them know. After all, it isn't about them, it's about you and acknowledging their importance to you.

We also forget that all our Heavenly Father does is motivate by His love for us. It is a love that is never-ending. It is eternal. This almighty, all-powerful God has never gone a time in all of eternity without loving us. The best news is that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than he does or any less. It’s not based on what we do, but who He is.
But, many of us find it difficult to comprehend this kind of unconditional love. We accept cognitively that God loves us, but He also wants us to GET IT. Love is meant to be experienced, not merely heard or read about. Everyone deserves to experience God’s love, especially when it’s through you.
  • There are those who are rejoicing around us. Help them celebrate.
  • There are those who are lost around us. Help them find their way.
  • There are those struggling around us. Help them break those chains that bind.
  • There are those who are hurting around is. Help them cry.
When you do, they probably won’t want to hit you back. Actually, you'll be blessed that there’s another person in your heart to love. After all, it’s not about what they do; it’s about who You are.