I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. As I’ve thought and read about this topic over the past couple of months, I have begun to realize how much our culture plays a huge role in defining what love is. It’s downright scary when you think about it. Our culture throws not just the word love around, but the meaning too, so flippantly and so often that I believe it causes confusion. Various TV shows, songs, movies, etc do much to water down the true meaning of love, leaving us scratching our heads in disappointment and frustration. I mean, why can’t my husband be just like the guy from The Notebook? Is that too much to ask? Gees.
I just Googled how many songs have the word love in them. I got 10, 500,000 as the answer. Incredible. Love Shack, Love Me Do, Endless Love, Your Love Don’t Take a Backseat to Nothin, All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You, are just a few of the examples that come to mind. But what does it all mean? Love can be sex, love can be forever or just one night, love is first, love is last. There’s love of self, money, strippers, jewelry, shoes, and cars. I mean nothing is off the table. And if you watch shows like The Bachelor or Rock of Love (with Brett Michaels btw), you know what I mean.
But even beyond the irreverent way our culture tosses love around, I’m just as guilty of it too. For example, just the other night as J and I were driving to a movie, I was discussing this very thing with him, and complaining about it. Not two minutes after, I asked him for some chapstick. He pulled it out and immediately I said, “I LOVE this kind.” AAAAHHHH! And I do it all the time. I love this song, or I love reading that blog. I love the Yankees. I love Tag-Along Girl Scout cookies. But do I really? Love? Those? Things? Just call me Brick. Seriously.
I don’t know. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I’m tired of assigning love to things that really have no value. And I’m sick and tired of allowing culture to define what love is. When I say the words “I love you” I want to mean it with all my heart. I think the Greeks had it right, or at least better than we do. Four different words for love that express four different meanings is better than one word to express them all. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of saying I Love my husband and I love chapstick in the same breath. I’m going to try and stop. Starting….now.