This is what I learned about love from the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff.
When you love someone, you recognize the beautiful things in them and you tell them about it. You note when they do something right and you congratulate them on their successes.
Love is Creative
Love shows itself in strange ways. It doesn’t stick to the mainstream flowers-and-chocolate and hugs-and-kisses. It thinks up unusual means of expression.
Love Sacrifices Everything
Perhaps you’ve heard this one before, even a lot, but it’s really quite true. Just as Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends,” if you love someone, you would sacrifice everything ~ even to your last breath ~ for their good.
Love Tries Again
If you attempt to do something for someone you love and you fall short, your love for that person will compel you to try again, and then again if it is required.
Love is Persistent
Love never gives up. It is consistent as well as persistent. It doesn’t allow any of its qualities to falter.
Love is Inexhaustible
No matter what happens, if you love someone, never stop showing them that. Tell them straight-out and back it up through your actions. Love never falters and never grows weary of showing itself.
Love is Honest
If you truly love a person, you will be honest with them. Lying leaves a mark on a relationship that will drive you apart. And besides, if you love someone, why WOULD you lie to them? Why would you WANT to?
If you don’t lie, why would your friend lie to you? That would be rude. You can’t really love someone if you don’t trust them.
Love is Patient
If the one you love leaves, you will wait for them for as long as it takes.
Love is Extreme
You’re probably thinking extreme sports, like I do when I read this phrase, and in some ways it may apply that way. Love will go to great lengths to express itself and will do grand, impressive things for the one it focuses on.
It’s not all about you, okay? You’ve got to learn to listen rather than just speak. If someone is feeling downhearted or has a problem, one of the greatest things you can do for them is just to listen to what they have to say.
Love is Graceful
Grace is doing something nice for someone who doesn’t deserve it and can’t do anything for you. Loving people do kind things for others simply because they love them, and doesn’t expect anything in return.
If the person you love wrongs you, you will be willing to forgive them. You could even go so far as to see it from their point of view.
Love Uses Brokenness
This is an interesting one. This might be more part of God’s love than ours. He sees the flaws and weaknesses in us, and He uses them for something marvelous.
Generosity is not in short supply when it comes to loving someone. You’re always giving, so much so that it actually can get annoying. But the point is, when you’re constantly giving things to people, and you get such great joy from it, they realize how much you really love them.
Love Says Yes
This is another interesting one. The context I got it from was the idea of saying yes no matter what was asked of you, regardless of how outlandish or bizarre the request is. When you love, you’re up for anything because you just want to spend time with the ones you love.
I don’t mean this as in “love depends on [a certain situation]” or anything like that. I mean, love is dependent upon others. You can’t love alone. You need someone TO love. Depending on someone for some things also shows them that you really want and need them in your life.
If you love someone, you will know them enough and pay enough attention to them to notice when they need something and fulfill that need without them needing to ask.
Love Has No Hidden Agenda
If you love someone, you love them openly, and you don’t do things for them in order to get something out of it.
Love is Quiet
What I mean by this is that love doesn’t always mean declaring your feelings openly. It doesn’t rely on words to express itself ~ sometimes it is nothing more than a silent presence in a time of need.
Love is Active
If you truly love someone, you will not be able to stop doing things to show your love. It is impossible for true love to be idle.
Love is Adventurous
When you love someone, you’re willing to do what they like to do. You’re willing to go on adventures and do crazy things with them.
Love Makes Memories
When you’re doing crazy things and having adventures, you’re making memories with the people you’re with. Those memories will be the backbone of your relationship. You can’t love a person fully and consistently if you don’t have memories fueling it.
It’s pretty obvious that if you love someone, you want to be around them. So invite them to do things with you, even if they’re seemingly meaningless things like playing catch after school/work or including them in a previously-made plan. If you show that you want them around, it will mean a lot to them, because a lot of people worry and wonder about whether they’re actually accepted by people they hang out with.
Always be ready to give a word of encouragement or even just a hand on the shoulder to make sure the person you love knows that they’re never alone, no matter what difficulty may arise in their life.
Love is Tough
If you truly love someone, it’s actually not easy to back down. Love can take a hit and keep going. It gets up again and never lets anything crush its spirit.
Love is Unique
The cool thing about people is that they’re all different. The cool thing about loving people is that every love you will have for every person will be different too. There is no one-size-fits-all love. It’s custom-made.
Love is Humble
One of the most important things about love is that it means putting others before yourself. If you have an important friend and you actually love them, you won’t use their status to make yourself look better.
Love Takes Risks
Sometimes love is not an easy thing, and there will come times when you have to make tough decisions. In those times, you have to trust your judgment and your love for that person and make the right decision, even if it might result in something not so pleasant.
Love is Engaged
Loving makes you a part of life. Their life, and the life of those they love and the people they’re around. You want to be included in not only their joys, but their sorrows and their hardships. You want to be there for them.
Love is Determined
I don’t know how I can clarify this one. Love is determined. That should explain itself.
Love is a funny thing. If you really love someone, you would not believe what happens to you. Not only do you start doing crazy things, but you start loving on other people too. And when people receive love, they are willing and excited to give it, and it begins to spread.
Love Befriends Strangers
Love is not always for people you already know. When it multiplies, like I mentioned previously, you won’t be able to restrain it and keep it focused on only your circle.
Never leave a person out. If you see a shy girl in the corner or a boy that people don’t particularly enjoy hanging out with, and you’re making plans with your friends in front of them, don’t be rude and ignore them. Include them in your plans. Trust me, it could mean the world to them.
Love Fights Evil
Most importantly, love means doing the right thing. It means seeing pictures of slavery and hungry children and doing something about it beyond just praying for it (although praying is an extremely powerful force in itself) or giving money. It’s standing up for a kid being bullied. It’s actually taking the initiative and trying to stop the bad things going on.
Your love for a person will drive you to want to know them and spend time with them, as much as you possibly can.
Love is Relentless
Love is intense. It’s fierce. It might even seem obsessive at times. You see the person you love and you drive hard at knowing them and loving them. You give it everything you’ve got.
Above all, love means that no matter what happens, through the good and the bad, you always stick with the person you love. You tell them, “Whatever you choose to do, I’m with you.”