14 Jun 2015
Love – Dictionary.com defines Love in part as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.
It is also defined as a verb to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
It is the latter that I would like to talk about today. Some people use the word “love” as much as I would use the word eat, hungry, or water. As an example, I have had people talk to me or have heard people say “I love your car” or “I love your outfit” or “your new house is great, I love it”.
By throwing the word love around so much and making it a part of day-to-day common language it waters the word down, makes it shallow as opposed the deep meaningful word that it is meant to be. The word love should be used only to express a deep intimate feeling, such as “I love my mom and dad”, or “I love my husband”, or “I love my cat” or “you are my best friend and I love you”.
If the word love is continually used as a replacement for the word “like” then love ends up not meaning much to the person hearing it and it means even less when it comes from someone who uses the word all the time.
Dictionary.com defines the word Like in part as “to take pleasure in, find agreeable, have a kindly or friendly feeling for a person, group, etc” Good examples of the proper use of describing fondness to something or someone where intimacy is not involved are; “I like your car”, or “I like your tie” or “I like your new house”.
Think about this, you love your kids, you tell your kids you love them. Then, one day, you buy a new car for the household, as you share it with the family, you say, “I love the new car”. Do you want your child to think the love you have for them is equal to the love you have for a car, a hunk of metal in the driveway? You can like the car, but it is so important to ensure that when your kids hear the word love, that they know that is a very special word and should only be used for them, for their mom and dad, sibling, pet, relative or other friend. You want them to learn that so when they grow up they know that word is special, to only be used by people they have a deep relationship with.
Same holds true about your spouse, the word love between you and your spouse, or the person you are in a deep intimate relationship with, should be very special, a word that each of you know is only used to convey the feelings between two people, a word that the family only hears when talking to each other expressing the deep feelings that you have for each other, not for objects or to be used as a casual comment.
I admit, I have been guilty of using the word “love” loosely, and I am trying to ensure that when I use the word love it is when I really mean I am in love with whom I am referring to. I can assure you I am not in love with my house, I like it, but I am not in love with it. Same with my car, or any other inanimate object. When the word love comes out of my mouth, I want it to truly mean love. I love my parents, I love my cats. I love my friends, relatives and most important, I love my Lord Jesus Christ.
As you start your new week, listen to yourself and others around you. How often is the word love used in a conversation that is open and in mixed company that is not referring to a true intimate relationship between two people or even pets? You will be amazed how often the word love is used to describe a feeling that is not related to an intimate relationship and how each time that very special word is devalued.
What do you think? Do you think the word love is used too much? Are you going to try to use the word less and only for those very special people and pets in your life, the people that you truly love and not objects that you just like?