With Meaning
Off the Wall, Feb 13
, 2014

Recently, I was talking to a friend and the subject of love surfaced. This makes sense in a round-about way because Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Everyone knows it’s the “love” holiday, if one wishes to call it that.

She was telling me she had talked to a friend who mentioned that family members always signed their communications may they be post cards, letters or e-mails with salutations using the word “love” before writing or signing their names. But here’s the interesting thing. Seldom did they ever state to friends, brothers or sisters that they loved them. It was as though all knew that the feeling was there so much that there was no need to convey it.

But here’s the clincher. How much more does it become meaningful when one person does state the words, “I love you” to another? That’s really the big question at hand.

Just imagine having a relationship with another and never saying those three words. Believe it or not, I have heard couples living together for over 50 years and never conveying orally those three words to another. Deep down inside one probably wonders how can this be. People have gotten married and the love was apparent, but the words never exchanged. Seems kind of strange to some of us, doesn’t it?

I think culture has a lot to do with that. Society has let the genuine slip away to such loose thinking that love now has been watered down to meaning “sex” and not transmittance of actual feelings for another.

That’s not to say I am stereotyping – clumping everyone into one group and letting it go at that. According to an article published by Associated Press via the website www.nbcnews.com, “Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found. Whether it’s hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers disclosed.”

Say no more. I think everyone gets the idea.

Instead of scaling downward, wouldn’t it be better to promote acting using positive means.

Let’s resort back to the people who knew each other for years but never related the fact that they spoke of the love for each other. Assumption is a thought process we all use. Sometimes it’s good, but most the time it isn’t. Going through life presuming actions and particularly other person’s thoughts can get us nowhere really. Oh, we may think one way or another because we’ve developed certain stimuli within our brains that we hope (presume) will yield responses. When things don’t go the way we expect, it often produces sadness, disgust or even revenge.

The people who stuck with the salutations but verbally never stated those famous three words were true about their feelings. After all, to repeatedly sign their names on paper and screens must have had some incentive to do so and letting it go at that.

I’ve always believed that love relationships between partners or friends should hold fast to each other, not using sex as the motive, but feeling and sacrifice.

God may have created Eve for Adam so both could go forth and have children, but He also set down rules whereby the two of them must live. All through the course of the Bible, Holy Scriptures dictate one’s course of actions as set by the Almighty and spoken to His disciples so that we would walk the paths determined by His guidance.

It’s a matter of fact not long ago we celebrated Christmas, the birthday when God sent His Son into the world to walk and talk to the people of that time here on earth. As one knows, He came to exemplify His love, a trueness all followers would come to understand through the touch of the Holy Spirit.

This is not saying only those who have this touch know the trueness of love. But there were many who were void of this feeling at that time. After receiving this blessing, they changed and took on a whole new way of living, a transformation of personality.

So, in conclusion, how should we classify love, a noun, verb or both? I think the latter. It is my opinion that love should be unconditional, sacrificial and altruistic, loving with no conditions, sacrificing with no demands and giving of oneself. That’s a relationship with meaning.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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