He loves me. He loves me not. 

Sitting on my patio, enjoying a rare July breeze, my closest friend asked me an odd question.

“Do you think he loves me?” she asked, speaking of her then boyfriend.

Then she started to present her case to me. “Women want him. He could be with almost anyone else, but he is with me. So he must love me, but, he is a selfish, inconsiderate liar.”

My friend’s question, though outwardly simple, is quite complex. If she were asking me, is he fond of me? How could I know?  All I could do is speculate, based on outward appearances.

When determining whether a person is loved by another or not, what factors would you consider?

  • The number of times a person says “I love you.”
  • The number of symbolic romantic gestures.
  • The number of kept promises.
  • The number of hours spent together.

The fact is, I don’t know how he felt about my friend, but maybe “does he love me” was not the right question to ask at all. A better question might be “does he love me well?”

What does “loving well” look like?

For the answer to that question, I turn to the Truth, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

A basic dissection of the passage yields a definition of what real love is, and a what it is not.

Love is…

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Forgiving (keeping no record of wrongs)
  • Honest (rejoices with the truth)
  • Always protective
  • Always trusting
  • Always hopeful
  • Always persevering
  • Unfailing

Love is not…

  • Envious
  • Boastful
  • Proud
  • Dishonoring
  • Self-seeking
  • Easily angered
  • Delighting in evil

So I ask you, did he love her well?

 

Striving always to love,

2017-12-29T14:42:54+00:00