Verb – To adore, show affection for, admire, cherish, dote on, respect, trust and revere.
Many of us have never taken the time to analyze the components that make up love. I did. I observed and interviewed lovers, married couples, divorcees, widows, parents, children and friends. I found that the components of love can be demonstrated in may ways. However, I was surprised to find that real love was lacking in many relationships. People sort of “got along” or existed. That was not going to be enough for me. Is it enough for you?
The following experiment may help you to determine if you deeply love an individual. I created the questions by using definitions from the dictionary and from the Bible.
Knowing that my own definition of love or friendship was flawed, at the very least…and inaccurate, and that my conception of love would be wrong because I never saw any of it growing up as a child, I had to learn the correct definitions in order to build love from a foundation of knowledge.
Therefore, I went to the two sources that would give me correct guidelines. The Biblical source is found in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. I found that I lacked in 13 of the 15 essential ingredients! No wonder I was set for failure in relationship building.
A good marriage ought to be able to survive the turmoil that life brings into it. It can survive, however, only if it is built on a solid foundation of love. Without love in a relationship…the marriage is destined to die.
Many of us bandy the word love about and yet few of us can define its meaning. None of the books I read expressed the essence of what love is. I needed to have the word “love” clearly defined if I intended to enhance my relationships with family, friends and my next soul-mate.
When we say, “I love my friend or my spouse, parent or child,” what are we really saying?
We have a short “LOVE TEST” in my book – Friendships – Lovers, Huggers & Others - Chapter 10, and it might give you some perspective on how your relationships are doing. I have developed a 100-question “Compatibility Test” at the end of the book, but for this article purpose, take the “short test” and see how you fare with your relationships.
Take a few minutes to place a particular person’s name in the blanks below. Using the same name in each sentence will help you to concentrate on that individual, and in doing this, it will force you not to generalize how you feel about that person.
When you finish the test for a particular person, place the name of another person in the sentences until you go through an entire list of those who you wish to build or enhance your relationship with. Do this using the name of your spouse, relative, a child or friend. When you have completed your list, you can begin to work toward improving your relationships where you can’t answer “yes”.
Answer each question with a yes or a no in the margins next to the question.
I VERY DEEPLY LOVE___________
1. My love for________________is unconditional and without reservation. I love him/her regardless of the state of being that he/she is in. YES_____NO_____
2. I have a strong liking for_______________
3. I have a very deep affection for_____________
Think about how you manifest or show that affection for him/her. Do you keep it a secret from him/her? YES___________NO________
4. I have great compassion for _______________
5. I have a deep sense of devotion to__________
6. I absolutely trust________________________
7. I am deeply committed to___________and will
See him/her through any problem that comes along. YES_______NO______
8. I can openly, honestly talk with_____________
About any subject whatsoever YES___NO____
9. Because I do have a warm attachment to
_______________, I think about him/her when
he/she is not in my presence YES____NO_____
10. My love for_______________endures. I am
patient with him/her because of my deep love.
11. My love allows me to be kind to____________
12. My love for_____________does not erupt into
jealousy due to envy on my part for him/her
13. My love for______________does not insist on
my own rights or my own way. It is not self-
14. My love for____________is not arrogant or
inflated with pride YES_____NO_____
15. My love for___________is not fretful or
16. My love for___________takes no account of
any wrongs done to me by him/her. I do not
hold a grudge or have resentment for any
wrong done to me YES_______NO______
17. When I am convinced that my love is right and
true, I am happy when right and truth prevail.
I am not happy when I am doing an injustice
18. My love for___________allows me to accept
what I am being told by him/her as true.
Because of this, I can trust him/her completely
and I have developed confidence in him/her.
If I have all of the above, my love for _____________
My love will not fail.
If I lack in ANY of the above in my relationship with ________________, I will endeavor to fix it.
Write your list of names here and how many YES answers or NO answers next to them. This will help you to view all of your relationships…and see which are healthy and which need work.