In Others’ Words: Love is …

C.S. Lewis Love Quote 8.5.13

I’ve come across many a “Love is …” attempt to define an emotion that is, in essence, undefinable. Even the “Love is patient, love is kind … ” distillation so often read during wedding ceremonies, often stumps me before I get very far into the verses in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient … kind … it does not envy … 

Wait. If love is the doing of all those things (and I’ve only mentioned three), then love is, indeed both stern and splendid — and so much more than mere kindness.

I can be kind to a stranger by letting someone go ahead of me in line at Target or by taking the time to reunite a lost puppy with its owner (as my husband and youngest daughter did yesterday).

Being kind doesn’t even demand that I know your name, much less that you know mine.

But love … ah, love demands so much. Loving someone in a “’til death do we part” kind of way is stern, unrelenting — a love that finds the strength to get up off its knees and say, “I’m not done yet. We’re not done yet.”

And love is splendid … it surprises you with joy, the kind that comes in the morning after you’ve wept all night in your pillow. Nothing has changed, the troubles are still there …

and  so is the One who loves you with an everlasting love — the one who keeps all your tears in a bottle. (Ps. 56:8)

Amazing thought, that.

Love asks for more from us … and gives so much to us.

Stern.

And splendid.

In Your Words: Love is ___________________________________. I would love to know how you would fill in the blank. 

Why Love is more than kindness Click to Tweet

When Love is stern & splendid Click to Tweet 

Read the first chapter of Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt! Click to Tweet

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16 Comments

  1. August 5, 2013, 6:10 am   /  Reply

    Humorous. Able to laugh at hardships, and hold on to the other, until things stabilize.

    • August 5, 2013, 10:54 am   /  Reply

      Ah, yes. There must be laughter in love.

  2. August 5, 2013, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    This reminds me of those “love is…” cartoons. I’ve got a story about a campus-wide prank a friend and I pulled in college using those cartoons. I’ll tell you sometime… 🙂

    And I love Dee’s answer: humorous.

    Also, Love is…my mom and dad. They’re such a wonderful picture of all the different kids of love!

    • August 5, 2013, 10:55 am   /  Reply

      I so want to hear that prank, Melissa.
      And how wonderful that your mom and dad represent love to you.

  3. Bernadette DesChamps
    August 5, 2013, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    I would have to echo Lewis’ thoughts. Love is glorious, but only genuine as proved by fire. Much more than tenderness, love is all of grace, for it is grace that conquered fire.

    Perhaps love is the trail that grace leaves behind and it beckons, “Here is the way, walk in it.”

    • August 5, 2013, 10:55 am   /  Reply

      Beautiful thoughts, Bernadette. Yes, love is intertwined with grace.

  4. August 5, 2013, 7:49 am   /  Reply

    Loved this, Beth. Let’s see, love is so much, and much more than conveyed in media. I loved Bernadette’s description of love.

    Love is humble, intimate, sacrificing, encompassing laughter. This isn’t a complete answer, but it’s a start. My parents went through the fire and came out closer than before. I love watching their relationship and the ways they make each other laugh, the ways they love each other through their decisions. They support each other’s dreams and walk through the mountain tops and valleys together.

    • August 5, 2013, 10:56 am   /  Reply

      I like that Jeanne: They love each other through their decisions.
      Pondering that.

  5. August 5, 2013, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    Love is commitment and strength. When challenged, if there is commitment, it grows stronger. I think of a great big oak tree. Without winds and storms, the tree would be weak and wouldn’t grown taller. It is only strengthened when the wind pushes against it. I believe love is very similar. It’s during the storms, when it is challenged, that it grows stronger. It is also so many other amazing and wonderful things. When I think: love is patient, love is kind…I almost always place God’s name in there (after all God is love). God is patient, God is kind…

    • August 5, 2013, 10:57 am   /  Reply

      Indeed: God is patient, God is kind …
      and placing my name there becomes the challenge: Beth is patient, Beth is kind …

  6. August 5, 2013, 10:00 am   /  Reply

    Love is…all of the things mentioned. What comes to mind most for me is: Love is….a gift. A precious gift from the Lord. On Wednesday, my husband and I celebrate 31 years and they have been filled with joy and excitement, pain and heartache, but always filled with the gift that God gave us…a deep and constant love for each other.

    • August 5, 2013, 10:57 am   /  Reply

      A most blessed and happy anniversary to you, Anne — filled to overflowing with love.

  7. August 5, 2013, 1:10 pm   /  Reply

    Yes, Dee! Humour!! Nobody can make me laugh as hard as my husband can. That one look, that one word, and I’m gone.

    The flip side of that is when I was losing my mind to depression, he helped me crawl through each day, til I could walk. Then he walked beside me til I could let go. Then he held the door when I ventured back out into the sun. Now, he waves as I take flight.
    The things that saved me? My Lord, my husband and writing.

    Nobody is as proud of me as he is.

  8. Andrea Cox
    August 5, 2013, 10:10 pm   /  Reply

    Love is… eternal. ‘Nuff said.

  9. August 5, 2013, 11:16 pm   /  Reply

    Love is hard work. As the poet said…

    Our England is a garden,
    and such gardens are not made
    by saying “Oh, how wonderful!”
    and sitting in the shade.

    Love means doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it, because it’s right, and it nurtures the relationship. It means overlooking the things that you may resent, or than may drive you crazy, because to air them will only hurt a spouse who truly doesn’t understand.

    Love means having the discipline to look past your own ego, and sometimes your own happiness, to create an environment in which another person can feel safe.

    My wife never dreamed she’d have as many dogs as we do. But she realized that they were necessary – for themselves, and to save the life of her husband – who himself had to save, after having seen far too much killing.

    Does she love them? Of course. As much as I do. But she chose to make a sacrifice of the kind of ordered and quiet life she loved, and to invite a huge amount of work into her life, to keep her husband safe from the demons of memory.

    If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

  10. August 6, 2013, 12:04 am   /  Reply

    Love this one on love, Beth!

    My mentor used to remind me over and over, “Love is me letting you be who you are and you letting me be who I am. That’s all there is to it.” I thought this sounded awfully simplistic until I started practicing it. Not so simple.

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