In honor of St. Valentine's Day, I submit the following:
What is love? Does anyone really know? How do we know when love is present? How do we know when love is no more than desire or lust or a strong emotional attachment?
When we look at dictionaries for the meaning of love we find the following (note: Because I consider this a family oriented column, I have left out a few of the definitions):
noun -- (1) a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. (2) a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. (3) sexual passion or desire. (4) a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart. (5) affectionate concern for the well-being of others; the love of one's neighbor. (6) the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love. (7) the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God. (8) in tennis, a score of zero.
verb -- (1) to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her. (2) to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person) (3) to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in; to love (as in to love music). (4) to have love or affection for another person; to be in love.
You get my drift. There are many things the world would say about love. A person could go crazy trying to sort them all out. But I think that once you find the right meaning, you might want to apply what the Word says about love to your own understanding.
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
"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 never fails."
--I Corinthians 13:4-8 (New International Version)
That really says it all, don't you think?
Happy Valentine's Day!