As a kid, love seems as simple as circling a yes or a no on a piece of paper, but as we grow, we guard our hearts and measure our words and love can become more difficult to identify or measure. Love doesn’t have measurements as clear inches or pounds, but still can be measured to a certain extent. The Bible even invites us to strive to understand the measurements of God’s limitless love for us:
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” (Ephesians 3:18)
This concept may seem incongruous with love itself, but it’s only because we’ve come to see love as nothing more than an immeasurable feeling or an emotion. Love is first and foremost a commitment. Feelings and emotions are often involved, but they’re secondary to the commitment. When I’m talking about “measuring love,” I’m not suggesting we can accurately sum up all the nuances of love with something as simple as a quiz you might read in Cosmo Magazine. Real love isn’t just about attraction; it’s about action. It’s not just about “connection”; it’s about commitment.
The insights below won’t necessarily rate someone’s attraction to you or compatibility with you, but I believe they’ll bring into clearer focus someone’s level of commitment to you. These principles can apply to romantic love, but these certainly aren’t limited to romantic love. Whether you’re building a healthy marriage, a stronger friendship, a deeper connection to a family member or any other loved one, these principles below will apply.
More than anything, I hope these explanations will help you see how YOU are doing in your quest to wholeheartedly love your friends and family members. I hope these timeless truths will revolutionize your relationships by equipping you to receive love with more understanding and to give love with more selfless compassion and concern for your loved ones.
The world’s definition of love seems to be self-centered, but God’s definition of love is selfless. The Bible reminds us that “love does not demand its own way.” (1 Corinthians 13:5) We are often compelled to sacrifice our selfish agendas upon the altar of love, but what we ultimately receive in return is something far more profound than anything we could have concocted on our own. God, as the author of love, has given us a gift far more beautiful than the most beautiful human creation.
With all that being said, let’s dive into the first “measurements” of love. They’re found in what I call “The 4 postures of love.” In each of these postures, love is manifested in unique ways. Each of these four postures (or expressions) of love should be present in some capacity in every healthy relationship:
When someone truly loves you, they will make “face time” a priority. There’s no substitute for it. There’s no volume of text messages or emails that can equate to the moments you spend looking a loved one in the eyes. Simply put, when we love someone, we will make it a priority to be near them.
2. Side by side
Love manifests itself in partnership. Love thrives when you can walk into any situation hand-in-hand and side-by-side. Even in moments of disagreement, love beckons us to work together. When someone loves you, they’ll be willing to walk with you hand-in-hand even when the two of you aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Love creates unity; not uniformity.
3. Back to back
When someone loves you, he/she will “have your back.” When you’re back-to-back, you’re facing the challenges or even enemies in the world to protect your loved ones. We’re always willing to defend, and even at personal risk, to protect those we love. When someone loves you, they’re healing your wounds; not causing your wounds.
4. Hand to foot
Jesus was the embodiment of love and he taught his disciples love through serving. He washed their feet and told them to do the same. “Hand to foot” represents a posture of selflessly serving out of love. When we serve someone only to be served in return, we’re only “networking,” but when we serve and ask nothing in return, we’re showing true love.
For more tools to help you build stronger relationships, check out my brand new book The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships.
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