The first time I heard the words above, I was listening to the song of the same title from the Musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar‘. Mary Magdalene in the play was referring to her inability to understand why Jesus, a man, required a different kind of love than other men she had previously known. She explained that He said he loved her without her needing to give Him anything first and as a result, she was unsure of how to love Him in return. I find that many of us are in the same situation.
What is love?
Love has many forms, many definitions; it is expressed in a variety of ways. At its best love to me is a verb, something proved by actions. It is a choice we make daily. However, how we love is the major issue.
How to love
I once heard a female friend say that her parents did not know how to love her, people were aghast. They told her that her words were wrong and cruel, yet she was right. Love is given on an individual basis, remember when we spoke about the love languages here. The way I receive and give love is different from the way my best friend does. If Mr A believes love is buying gifts repeatedly for Mrs A but never says a kind word to her, he doesn’t know how to love her if her love language is words of affirmation. He could buy her the world, and she would be grateful, but she would not feel loved. This rule applies to our friendships as well; we must give love so it is received.
I don’t know how to love him
So this statement remains true, because though I know how to give love, by kindness, gentleness, compassion, consideration and generosity, I am not sure how to love one particular individual until they show me how. I once heard a man say, ‘she won’t let me in, how can I love her if she doesn’t let me in?’ His statement made me consider our recent discussion on vulnerability and how that can make things difficult. But difficult does not mean impossible.
I dare you to love
The Kendrick brothers wrote the ‘Love Dare Book‘ several years ago; they also wrote ‘The Love Dare for Parents’. It was evident from the outstanding response they received that although we are all capable of loving, we could all use some help in giving it the right way. To assume that someone else is exactly like you because you share a name or DNA, may be a profound error.
Have you ever met someone who was hard to love? Why was it so hard? Do you know your love language and that of your loved ones? Do you feel some people are beyond love? How did you learn to love your friends, parents or spouse, truly? Or did it come naturally to you without the need to learn or observe? How easy was it for you to find out how to love him/her?
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