What is true love? What is it REALLY?
I have a silver plaque directly above my desk and on it is written these words, “A Romantique”. I am a hopeless romantic. After all these years, after all these broken hearts, and yes, even several suicide attempts, I have come to know what true love really is. And, in the midst of it all, God surprised me with a heart that was not so badly broken that it was beyond being mended by true love.
Shakespeare’s well known Sonnet 116 states:
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds … ”
I say love is not love that leaves, or causes intentional pain, or rejects the object of their love when less than perfection is discovered. Yes, love remains. The Message Version of the Bible translates 1 Corinthians 13 verses 3-7, and 13, in part:
“Love never gives up. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”
The point is driven home in 1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (NIV) My earthly father, and Heavenly Father both endeavored to teach me the simple truth that love is action!
Years ago, I danced in a white gown, in a lovely courtyard with my husband, to romantic music. That moment will never be forgotten and it was truly romantic. Yet, not too many months ago, that same husband lay in an ICU ward of a hospital following emergency brain surgery, struggling to survive.
That was the moment I felt love like never before. In great loss, great love is discovered. As I looked into the face of my husband, at that moment I knew love. For better for worse, and here was the worst staring back at me. I recently found a card that my husband had given me years before, and as I sat on the floor reading it again, I held treasure in my hands. In that card I read these words, “I have always been and always will stand behind you and your ministry. If you are a clown who has lost its sand, I will be there to pick you up.”
I have, from time to time, defined myself as one of those punching bag clowns with the sand in the bottom. When you punch them, no matter how hard, they pop right back up again. Having gone through a very painful time in my life, my husband had given me that card and written those words.
My friends, we persevere through pain and the difficult moments of life. Does it not make love that much stronger and deeper? True love is not without deep pain and heartache. True love remains through the ugly, painful, forsaken times. I gave my husband a card once that read, “Love is not in the falling, it is in the staying.”
It is the daily stuff of life that defines romance and love. True love never gives up and it never leaves.
How do you define romance? Is it the same as love?