If asked to define love, we probably would do no better than the Jamaican taxi driver who was telling the tourist how nice ackee was with codfish. The tourist then asked him to spell ackee to which he replied, “In Jamaica we doesn’t spell ackee we just eats it.”
Since Valentine’s Day is not far away, let me suggest some pointers about love that may help you towards a definition or at least a description of romantic love.
Whatever else love is, it involves at least three components, attitude, atmosphere and action.
By attitude I mean romantic love is “a positive inner regard for and desire to be with another”.
By atmosphere I am suggesting that romantic love triggers a positive relational connection between you and the beloved, a vibe, an air of openness toward, maybe initial awkwardness with but eventual ‘at easeness’ with, the beloved.
The action component means that when romantic love is present there is going to be evidence of acts done in the best interests of the beloved or at least, evidence of attempts at taking action in the best interests of the beloved.
These three components attitude, atmosphere and action tend to feed on each other. Where there is the attitude, it triggers the atmosphere and moves the lover towards action for the beloved. The more there is action for the beloved the more that tends to deepen the atmosphere or the attitude component and so on.
Very few of us are as close to God as we should be to know for sure, at the front end, prospectively, that the person we like or love romantically is God’s choice for us, that is ‘right’ for us. If this is true, then most of us need a period of time to test the content and the quality of the love we have for another and to check whether that other person “feels that way too”, which is why dating is so critical.
I am not dealing here with platonic dating where we go out in groups or we go out as a two-some but just as friends without any strings attached. I am dealing here with romantic dating.
For me, dating is professed love seeking confirmation (for the self) and validation (from the beloved) through social interaction. It is that period of time prior to courtship when we test whether we are ‘right’ for each other through discovery and disclosure.
Since Valentine’s Day (including the night) presents a challenge for young and old alike concerning purity, chastity and emotional/romantic faithfulness I close with a few blunt pointers for the unmarried.
By the way virginity is not lost (accidentally) but given up/away, assuming you are not raped. Young people. if you prize your prior commitment to Jesus over your love for your boyfriend/girlfriend, for your sakes, as I say on my Plain Talk on Sex CD watch French kissing and hugging. If you indulge keep the kiss short and shallow, keep the hug light and not long.
Now, stronger, not watch but avoid petting/fondling. Why? This is never safe because it is teasing not taming your body and your desires.
However you plan to express your love to your significant other make sure you can honestly apply this acid test to ‘it’: can I pray and ask God to bless it before I do it and after, return thanks to God for having been with us while we were doing ‘it’? Like seriously?