Love is a major key. Love is the energy that sustains life. Love is an idea that we constantly research and seek to define. Love is a power that creates life and colors the imagination. Love is a word that produces passion and wonder each time you hear it. Love is a reason to do the right thing. Love is a commitment. Love is a sacrifice. Love is the pleasure and the pain. Love is the deep part of the ocean that no one can see; but it contains life and fresh water. Love is the wave on top of the ocean that provides magic and entertainment for the human eye to see. Love is visible and invisible. Love is a reason to live.
The world tends to make the most perfect elements in life a commodity. As I write this, we are in the midst of the most commercial season of the year. Christmas season is the reminder that anything can be packaged, bought, and sold. So, lets take a moment to think about one of the most essential elements that is bought and sold. Love.
Love is a product that is used to market merchandise that appeals to our eyes and emotions. Love is a trigger that can lead to large purchases in the name of love. Love is used as a trap to lead a person to give or accept a condition that he or she would otherwise avoid. Love can be the hook. But let’s go a little deeper. Why is love the trigger? Why is the concept of love used to sell diamonds? Diamonds are harvested by low wage slaves. So, how is the purchase of a wedding diamond a symbol of love? What is love? A better question; “is love free?”
My entire life I was told that love is free. Is love free? If love is free then why do I have to buy a gift to prove it? Why is the size of a Christmas present used to measure love? Why is the absence of a gift a sign that no love exists? If love is free then you should bless me with a gift whether I am naughty or nice. Love is free, right? Why does my performance and behavior dictate whether or not you love me; if love is free?
Maybe love is not free. Maybe love is attached to specific conditions. Maybe love is a passion one must deserve. There are many maybes I can offer up to ask the same question.
My views on love and family and marriage were forever changed when my daughter was born. The birth of each one of my children shifted my understanding of life and emotions. I have one daughter and two sons. When my sons decide to get married I will have a different measuring stick than the one I use for my daughter. I will judge my son’s future wives based on potential and faith. I may not force their wives to prove anything to me. But it will be different for my daughter.
The man who comes to me and asks for my daughter’s hand in marriage will have to earn it. He will swear he loves my daughter but I love her, too. I will not judge him based on potential. I will set a standard he cannot reach. I will judge him based on his character, effort, and integrity. The love of my daughter’s fiancé will cost him something. And that cost cannot be qualified by a gift. I am her father. The love I exhibit cannot be measured. What can this new man do to convince me he is worthy to have my daughter? Nothing. If love is free then he should not be compelled to prove anything. Love may not be free.
We attempt to quantify and qualify and measure love. But it cannot be measured. Love, especially, cannot be measured by the human eye. Lo
The truth is that love is not free. The truth is that love is not a commodity either. Love is packaged as a commodity. We use money to generate love. We use money to buy acts of love. We even use money to replace love. How many of us work jobs we hate because we get paid a large salary to do it? We love money so much that we punish ourselves to earn it. How many of us remain in relationships with people we do not love because of the love of money?
Is love the problem or is what you love theproblem?
Love is not free. Love is bound by truth. Love is bound by grace. Love is bound by commitment. Many of the behaviors we exhibit are impersonators of love. Many of the emotions we feel are mistaken for love. Love has no error or defect in it.
The word love is used by so many people and institutions, that its definition and function has been altered and misused. Love is free when the people who possess it are without evil, pride, and selfishness. I love my wife for free. We live with truth, grace, and commitment. I love my wife for nothing. She does not owe me anything. I will love her regardless of what I get in return. But when there is no truth, grace, and commitment between two people; love demands proof. And that proof will be based on performance, money, and the size of a gift.
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