What is love, exactly? There's more to it than just emotion, a rapid pulse or a fluttery heartbeat; and certainly more than mere physical attraction. The Holy Bible gives us a beautiful definition of love in
"Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not show off; it is not arrogant. Love is not rude, and it is not selfish. Love is not easily angered, and it does not keep score of wrongs. Love doesn't take pleasure in doing wrong; but rejoices always in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails."
What a beautiful picture! What a wonderful way to live! The apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, but these truths about love from God's Holy Word form the only solid foundation for an enduring and rewarding marriage. We should ask ourselves, "Is this the way I want to be treated?", and also, "Is this the way I treat the person I love?" I hope the answer is an unequivocal "YES!!!"
Remember, real love builds up, it does not tear down. Love plans and works and saves to build a future together, it doesn't carelessly waste every penny today. Love is deciding together what your future goals are, and how to reach them. Love is making those decisions with the intention of doing whatever is necessary yourself, not just waiting for the other person to do their part.
Real love brings out the best in each other, not the worst. Love focuses on the other person's good qualities, not their faults. Love means accepting someone as they are, not trying to change them into who you want them to be. Love is respectful of the other person, not calling them hurtful names, talking about them behind their back, or constantly belittling them. Love is putting the other person's needs and sometimes even their wants ahead of your own. Love doesn't stubbornly insist on having it's own way.
Real love is freely forgiving of past grievances, not seeking revenge for them. Love means saying "I'm sorry. I was wrong." and meaning it. Love means turning the other cheek. Love is tender and caring, and never erupts into either physical or emotional abuse.
Real love is when the two of you together are better than either one of you are alone. Love is agreeing that you are in this for the long haul, and that you'll do whatever it takes to work things out, not just bail out. Love is knowing that you can count on each other, in good times and in bad times. Love is being there for the other person, and being secure in the knowledge that they will be there for you as well.