Not only is love a very complicated emotion, but the word itself is very complex. We use the same word to describe our affinity for chocolate that we use to describe our deepest feelings for another. In some ways, the word love is an overused utterance which has lost some of its power.
In our own house, among the words that we restricted, we limited the words love and hate. Those are very powerful words when used in their truest form, and that is what we tried to preserve. Our children didn’t say they loved chocolate or that they hated peas. Love is reserved for those deepest feelings we should hold for God and others, while hate is something we should reserve for abominations such as sin. In that way, love truly means something, as does hate.
With God, love is more than an empty word or simple affection. Love for God compels obedience and action as its natural by-product. Our everyday use of the word love should be similar. It seems that when we use a word to express our greatest affections that it ought to be a different word than we use to describe our affinity for something like chocolate. Having said that, I don’t want to take away how some people truly feel about chocolate!!
At the other end of the spectrum, perhaps we’ve all experienced those who say they love us but don’t seem to hesitate too much to act in a manner contrary to the word. In these situations, the word love is used to mask true negative inner feelings or intentions. The word is used but its benevolent meaning is severely lacking.
If we aren’t careful, the word love can come to mean very little. It ought to be held in high regard and used to connote something special.