Recognizing the Difference Between Spiritual and Human Love
The word “love” is used so frequently that it has lost its original meaning. In everyday life, people use the word “love” to describe a variety of things, from our desire to help someone who needs help to how we feel toward our family members to the things that we do for love. However, the fundamental meaning of the word remains unchanged. It means unselfish love.
There are two primary forms of romantic love: one is romantic love which is the most common and often the strongest form of love; and another is more passionate love. Romantic love is characterized by intimacy, romance, desire, devotion, focus, security, physical closeness, caring, attachment, and trust. However, it can also come in a more innocent form such as friendship or even just a pure desire to see the other person happy. Loving someone comes in all different forms.
One way to express love is through acts of physical intimacy. This is sometimes referred to as sexual love, or a sexual form of affection. Activities such as cuddling, snuggling, kissing, touching, hugging, holding hands, and even sex are all expressions of love. However, some couples choose to express their love in more intimate ways, by making and wearing special romantic gift cards, sending romantic text messages, or planning romantic trips together. While these examples may be more extreme, they are very common among couples that are in long-term, committed relationships.
Another way love makes a difference in someone’s life is through the emotions that it evokes. Love makes a person feel special and wanted. When you give your partner a romantic gift card or a meaningful message, he or she feels special, wanted, valued, and attractive. As humans, we have an innate need to feel desirable, needed, valued, and attractive.
Love makes people do amazing things. A loving relationship allows one person to take on larger roles, helping another person do larger roles, and allows one person to feel like a hero. People involved in loving relationships tend to volunteer more, help others more, give more, get more done, think differently, feel creatively, have more fun, make mistakes, be humble, take ownership of their successes and their failures, put their priorities in their lives, have realistic goals and plans, be risk-taking, spontaneous, creative, friendly, and empathetic. The essence of loving relationships is sharing the positive feelings of one another. It allows for the exchange of affection and the expression of love.
Spiritual love is another way love manifests itself. The Bible describes it as “the love of God, and his strength which he has given to save” us. Spiritual love is not just giving of love. It is the exchange of love and forgiveness with Christ. It is the interaction of free will with grace.