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Love is one major thing that makes the world go round beautifully well. No wonder Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that among the forever gifts which are faith, hope and love, love is the greatest of them all.

The month of February is always seen as the month of love and 14th February, a day set aside to celebrate love. 

It is a day where love is so much talked about on TV or radio stations and most cities painted red with so many people putting on red all in a bid to celebrate love. Meanwhile, I also wore red on that day⌣

But in our celebration of love, how many of us actually know what true love really is, what it entails or how its is expressed. The wrong notion about love can make us all go about it the wrong way.

I was privileged to speak on love at an event titled "Love Fiesta" organised by The High Fliers Global Glory Ministry (HGGM)  on the 14th of February 2021 founded by Pastor Olusegun Obaleye.

The High Fliers Global Glory Ministry is an interdenominational, non-profit and non-political organisation aimed at raising global giants with godly virtues.

They meet every second Sunday of every month at new Jos Hotel, Alheri, Jos, Plateau State. Make it a date to attend one of such Sundays.

Now, down to what was discussed on that day.
Most often, people base the perception of love on their feelings. They see it as that heart pounding effect or the butterfly feeling in the stomach they get as regards the person they claim to love.

For some people, love is the holding of hands, walking together, kissing, hugging etc. While all these might be expressions of love, they do not define what true love really is.

The truth is, our feelings about a person or group of persons is not guaranteed. These feelings fade and change with time.

But what would keep every relationship loving and going strong is the choice to remain committed in loving this person(s) irrespective of what may happen or the circumstance we find ourselves in.

A choice to put the other person's interest above ours and working beyond the hurts, differences and disagreements that will inevitably happen. This is true love.

And this commitment enables the growth of our love towards one another. See, love is not static. It grows from time to time and develops into maturity. As humans, we evolve, we grow, we change and situations change as well.

So it is expected that our love grows to the point that it is able to accommodate these changes we find in the people we relate with or the circumstance we find ourselves in the course of our relationship with people. 

Because love is steadfast, it is unconditional, it understands, it is attentive, it is selfless, it is supportive, it is empathetic and loving even when things are not rosy.

You see, we don't wait for love to happen, we make love happen. Couples who have grown old together and still standing strong in love did not wait for love to happen. They made it happen.

It is not because they never had challenges, differences or disputes in their relationship but because they made a choice to stay committed in the relationship despite the odds.

Recently, I saw two old women who met in the Army, became friends and remained friends till date because they were able to accommodate each other's differences.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 gives us a perfect illustration of what true love really means and how it should be expressed.

It speaks of the God's kind of love that we all know as Agape love. The unconditional love that we are all expected to display towards one another.

Note, this kind of love is not limited to intimate relationships between the opposite sex alone because in most cases, when people talk about love, the first thing that comes to mind especially with youths like us is the relationship with the opposite sex 

Yes, its part of it but it goes beyond that. It cuts across every form of relationship like that between friends of same sex or the opposite sex, parents and children or between siblings, colleagues etc. 

In any given relationship we find ourselves in, we are all expected to display the agape love. You can't even speak of any other kind of love outside agape love. God's kind of love always comes first. 

A true friend will not only be by your side when things are rosy but will also be there when things don't go down well with you. That's true love

But all these can not really happen when we try to do it on our own because the human nature is naturally selfish. It is self-centered, self-seeking and more concerned about me, myself and I. It always wants to receive and not give.

We can only exhibit true love when we have the God's kind of love in us and that's when the self seeking nature in us dies.

No matter how much we recite or know so much about 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love, we can never really demonstrate it when we try to do it on our own.

So then, How do we go about true love?

In Mathew 22:36-39 Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the law. He replied saying "Love  the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind." 

This He said is the first and greatest commandment and I believe this is where the source of our love lies. God is love. He is the originator of love. The perfect demonstrator of what love is exemplified in John 3:16 when He sent His only begotten son to die for the salvation of mankind.

Because His love is genuine, real, unconditional, vast, everlasting, it never ends. He is the lover of all lovers. A lover who would never leave your side irrespective of your shot comings.

His love is pure, powerful, perfect, protective, patient, providing, merciful, compassionate, forgiving and sacrificial. 

His love is unfailing and unchanging. Despite our unfaithfulness, He remains faithful in His love towards us. He remains forgiving in His love towards us when we sin against Him.

That is who God is. He does not have love because He is love Himself. 1 John 4:18 says "He who does not love, does not know God because God is love."

So, you can't say you love God and hate man. You can't love God and be selfish or self seeking. You can't say you love God and want to take undue advantage of another person or cheat someone else.

When it feels like your love for someone is fading or failing, you look up to God who is the source of your love to draw strength, then you regain, refuel and rekindle that love back to be able love someone back even the one that may have wronged you.

And then, Jesus gave a second commandment in which He said "And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

The truth is, you can't give what you don't have. If you do not love yourself enough, you can't truly love the person next to you.

Only one who is filled with so much love from the inside can truly love another soul genuinely without expectations or struggles.

I'm sure we all love ourselves right? I do love myself for sure. Same way we expected to love everyone we come across as we love ourselves.

If you can't give yourself pains, then don't inflict pains on others. If you can't cheat yourself, then don't try to cheat others. 

If you can't use yourself in an unhealthy manner, then don't try to use others to your advantage. Whatever you can't wish on yourself then don't wish it upon others.

That's why Mathew 7 :12 says "So in everything, do to others what you would have others do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."

Love is not about how someone treats you but of how much you treat another person right even when you don't feel love.

People might forget what you say to them or do for them but they will never forget how you make them feel.

Loving yourself also entails you know who you are in God. Know your strength and weaknesses and be comfortable in your own skin because you are not a perfect person.

Know what God's purpose is for your life. Have a dream, a vision and then pursue your dreams and vision. The moment you start adding value to yourself , people of value will come to you and people will love you for who you are.

So, you do not need to seek love from man but from God who is the source of your love and when you are filled with God's love, it becomes part of you and much easier to give out that love without stress, struggles or expectations.

And know this, in life, we tend to get what we give out so when you give out love, you will get it back in so many ways from different angles because love is a legacy that will always speak for you even for generations to come.

Quote for the day - "Love is not about how a person treats you but of how much you treat a                                   person right". 

A Snippet of the video below

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