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How Do We Know What Real Love Is?

"You were bought with a price; do not become slaves

of men. 1 Corinthians 7:23

Life Question: How do we know what real love is?

I am sorry for the lateness of this Valentine's day post, I was on the injured list, so

before going right into the Lenten season, I want to address the issue of love.

Valentine's Day has always been touted as a holiday for lovers, gifts of chocolate,

flowers and dinners out. Sadly, for three million men and 1 in four women and their

children they will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Jesus, when he sees this happening to his children, weeps for them, because

this is not the kind of life, or love he wants for his children. He wants them to feel loved,

cared for, secure and happy. He wants them to live their lives with purpose and

meaning, not suppression and isolation, not fear or intimidation.

I was fifteen years old when I met my best friend Wendy, she and I became fast friends,

which should've been my first clue. Things went along normally in the first few years

of our friendship, then they started to become violent. It started first with putdowns,

then insults. It escalated to being pushed into traffic, being shoved and humiliation.

I endured it, not thinking I deserved it, but instead, thinking I could change her, but

after 15 years of trying to change her, I couldn't and broke off the friendship. No, it

wasn't easy, believe me. Her mother(whom I did not get along with all that well,

wanted me to stay friends with her daughter because I was the only one who

showed her any kindness despite the fact she would also chase off anyone

else who wanted to make friends with me. I told her in no uncertain terms would

I do that until she got help. She never did.

My lesson was a painful one because no one taught me what to look for. So, for

those who don't as I did not, here they are:

1) You're on an emotional rollercoaster(one day he/she is nice, the next he/she is

punishing you)

2) They isolate you from friends, family and loved ones.

3) Issues of jealousy.

4) Arguements escalate quickly.

5) Your nervous around them

6) Constant putdowns

7) You go out of your way to make them happy.

8) You feel trapped.

9) You start believing you're the problem.

This is not how Jesus defines love. This is Jesus' definition:

1) Love is patient.

2) Love is kind.

3) It does not envy

4) It is not rude

5) It is not proud

6) It does not dishonor others

7) Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth.

8) It always protects, trusts, hopes and perserves

9) It is not self-seeking

10) It is not easily angered

11) It keeps no record of wrongs.

Lastly, and most important. If your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife demands

"submission", know what "submission means. "Submission" comes from the Biblical

Greek meaning "respected and honored". Do you feel respected and honored?

Blessings, Liz Ciccone

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