Even though love in its true sense should be something we practice each day, the month of February is one intentional set aside as the month of love. For that reason, I will be dedicating articles this month to the subject of relationships. Let’s kick off today with Love is a verb.
Saying I Love you in the African climes is mostly in the Eros domain – romantic love. Love is an action word not limited to Eros realm but also extends to the Storge, Pragma, Philia, Philautia and Agape realm amongst others. However, saying it does not equal practising it. Love is demonstrating through your behaviour, day in and day out, that you value the person in front of you, be it family, friend, lover, business partner, or spouse. Acting lovingly is your investment into another person.
Relationships are an investment, and your time, words, affection, or commitment is the currency you use within that relationship. While loving should not be predicated by what you get in return, the actions we interpret as imparting our value is the price the other person is willing to “pay” for our time and attention because, theoretically, they are getting something of value from us and vice versa.
Love is a verb, sure. But not your normal definition of a verb. It’s not as easy as mechanical servitude—it’s whole-hearted affection for others, flowing from our whole-hearted affection for God. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour 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, and always perseveres –1 Corinthians 13”. How you demonstrate these characteristics of love will differ from person to person. Using Gary Chapman love languages, for some love is shown by the quality of time you spend with them, for some other persons, it can be acts of service, physical touch, loving words, or gifts. Put effort into finding out which of these tools makes the other person know they are valued and put it into practice. Asking them this question might help; “What specific things can I do for you that will let you know how much I value our relationship (friendship, marriage, partnership etc.)?”
When you notice that someone goes out of their way to practically demonstrate love to you, don’t just see but acknowledge their effort. Thank them for their effort. Love is not what you say but what you do. It is not always in the big things but the little actions that add value to the other person. Even though it’s not common to say ‘I love you’ outside of a romantic relationship, we can all make love common through little and big acts. Don’t just say it. Demonstrate LOVE.
PS: I Dr Progress LOVE you so please, let me know in the comment section below what specific things I can do for you that will let you know how much I value our relationship. Is there someone that has demonstrated love to you, please share that story too and you never know, as a community we can reciprocate the love to that person.