What does it mean to really love someone?


#1

Only those who know God (somewhat) know what real love is and even they have a hard time…

For example: Most people love their children but those who don’t discipline their children are definitely doing them no favors & their love is “faulty”. Lenient parents are attached to their children, emotionally… and may have a lot of affection for them… and mean them no harm, but objectively speaking, they are harming their children by not being strict enough.

And then there are all the things that can wrong in romantic relatioships… Example: The spouse or Significant Other does this or that, then the other one thinks this or that (interprets the behavior through his/her own often-not-so-rose-colored glasses) and reacts accordingly… and this & that transpires and pretty soon they are talking Divorce…

(“What we have here is a failure to communicate…”, etc…)

I guess what i am getting at is that there doesn’t seem to be much real love (agape love?) in the world today… and i think its because there are seemingly few true followers of Christ…

just wondering if you have had a hard time recently (or not so recently) trying to figure out what the “loving thing to do” might be in a given situation…


#2

true there’s not much ‘real love’ in the world, but we haven’t really learned how to love perfectly yet.

Real love is self giving. And it’s a choice, and it’s active, not just an emotion.


#3

a person who kills himself because he “loves __ too much to live without her”…

is that love? Well, yes and no… (?)

and/or maybe…

i personally think sometimes people kill themselves to get back at someone…

not exactly love… :hypno:

can you really love someone else if you would do such a thing to yourself?


#4

someone told me that years ago and i didn’t understand it, didn’t really accept it. But then i learned… that (probably) best of all ways; the hard way how true it is.

i think i didn’t get it because i have never felt loved, by humans, except maybe once or twice in my life and… that love is apparently gone now…

anyway, was just wondering if people could tell stories about doing something that some would think unloving… but that was really best in the long run… like saying No to a child’s request to run out into the street or soemthing…

:juggle:


#5

“distracted” My humble opinion… is that the greatest proof of love, we can show to others is that we want them to get to Heaven; and we help them to get to Heaven. And hopefully, those who love us… will do the same for us. I agree with Monica. We do this, by “self-giving”… placing ourselves in the service of God and our brothers and sisters.

God bless.


#6

that’s why i made the point that not disciplining your children is not really loving them, objectively speaking…

i have a relative who continously gives me problems … can’t figure out why… Scapegoating, i guess… kind of a long story waht i mean by that… If i go into details, the person (I’ll call the person R) might recognize the story…

but suffice it to say that this person disappoints me over and over so i am thinking i should just cut R loose…

some would say this is not 'loving" because R has not really done much (according to some person’s perspectives)… yet when i am constnatly wondering such things as What did i do wrong? Why is R angry @ me, etc… well, i already have ‘issues’ (ptsd, etc.) and this kind of thing tends to get me more depressed so then i am … for one, i am of less use to God…

and i totally agree that the most loving thing you can do is lead someone to heaven… i do this w/ R and whomever i meet, more/less… but… hmm… well, i can’t see where allowing this person to continue bad conduct… is doing anything for either one of us. Would it be unloving to send this person an email saying i can’t deal with him/her anymore? i feel that would be the honest thing… Is honesty always the best policy??? When should we keep such honest feelings to oneslef?? Should i just give it to God and forget about it? But to do that means letting go 100%… which is wht i am inclined to do but would like impartial perspectives on the problem… i find it very hard to believe this person doesn’t have a clue as to how he/she is affecting me… its possible but i seriously doubt it… the person is not stupid…


#7

Yes, self-giving–>sacrifice.

It is hard to tell your children no; I hate disciplining mine. But that’s about me and what I want not about what they need, isn’t it?

Sometimes I feel the stress could kill me, but maybe then I would die for the people I love. What could be better for a Christian?

JB


#8

good way of looking at it…

Yes, it is hard to discipline children properly… so hard to know waht is the absolute best thing in a given problematic situation… but the older i get the more i blieve that too strict is better than too lenient…(as long as it doesn’t cross over into Abuse…) The world is too crazy these days.,… so much temptation and sin… Children must be loved unconditionally despite anything they do but their actions should NOT necessarily always be “accepted” without consequences… consequences that make a difference…

anyway… How would you handle the situation i spoke of … whether or not to let go of … what i feel is an abusive “relationship”??

thanks.


#9

Thanks. It is a question I ask myself everyday (facing emotional abuse). Obviously, if someone is putting you or the children in severe physical or moral, you have to separate yourself. But, love is something else.

I can only speak to my own case. I am not in physical danger nor are the children presently in harm’s way and having two parents in the house is better than one even if one is often emotionally absent or physically isolates herself (shut away in a room chatting online for hours per day).

I asked Jesus this some time back: “Lord, do you want me to still love this person? Even if she is evil, her behavior toxic?” As described elsewhere in the forum, the answer I received was yes. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Jesus is quite specific about this:

“For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:32-33).

Years ago the pastor of the parish I attended who was usually a milquetoast homilist gave a gave a brilliant homily on the “hard sayings” of Jesus. This saying from the Sermon on the Mount was the one he listed as the hardest of all. It is easy to wallow around in your own bitterness and resentment, hard to love someone who is not and perhaps can never understand or reciprocate love. Maybe loving them will bring about their conversion, maybe not; but not loving them or repaying them eye for an eye will not bring about anything except mass blindness. Besides the whole problem I face is being married to a person who had a very difficult life and somehow never learned that love is not about getting your own needs met or having certain feelings or emotions.

I think about my own parents and I’ve always loved them, but I don’t think they saw any results from all the love and care they gave me until I was maybe about 30 years old.

And Jesus? Well he knew 2000 years ago how often I would make a mess of everything and he still hung on that cross for me. By contrast loving the one person in my life who is utterly dyfunctional seems like nothing.

JB


#10

Love can be measured by how much we would sacrifice for another. Human mind limits are finite and cannot encompass the inifinite. This is why Jesus took the human form and suffered for us. This sign of love our poor minds can understand. Even if you were the only human alive on earth Jesus still would have endured as much for you.

i agree that too strict is better than too lenient when rearing children. The world being in such a despicable state as it is today, at least it serves as a compass in times of doubt. Because when in doubt, usually the correct answer is the one that today’s world shuns.


#11

I wanted to share my thoughts in regards to person ®. I think if this person is constantly letting you down and you feel this person is not or does not want to be a positive in your life, I think it would be good to have an honest discussion with ®. I think after you have an open line of communication it could do you both good. However, in doing this it could be that ® will get offended. I think you opening up to ® and sharing your thoughts is the best and from that conversation it should guide you to your next step. Good luck and Godbless


#12

I always thought of love as something easy to give when you care for someone.For example someone who is nice & good & kind to me is easy for me to be nicer to & get to know & see the good side of that person.
Whats really hard & what im striving to do everyday of my life is to love someone who is not nice to me.
When i truly achieve it i guess thats really loving someone.
I truly love God & i feel terrible because i have hurt him by my sins.I try to look at loving someone who does not love me as “my cross to bear” sent by God.Therefore by trying to love someone who is not nice to me i think thats really loving someone!!!
God bless


#13

For a nice short instruction on marital love, read the instruction before marriage which used to be spoken by the priest to the couple just before the exchange of vows.


#14

but still, it is hard to always know how best to love someone. … meaning, what does one DO or not do to show love… or better to say: to HELP the person.? I think sometimes the best way to love someone is to give him or her to God and let Him love them… since human love is so imperfect… I think sometimes the only thing we can do is pray… and refrain from much of anything else…

“For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:32-33).

i am not good at loving those who don’t love me (which would be everyone:D)…
Scratch that. Not true… I love them but i don’t SHOW any kind of love… I usually just pray for people and… well… whatever else the Spirit may be trying to tell me…

Years ago the pastor of the parish I attended who was usually a milquetoast homilist gave a gave a brilliant homily on the “hard sayings” of Jesus. This saying from the Sermon on the Mount was the one he listed as the hardest of all. It is easy to wallow around in your own bitterness and resentment, hard to love someone who is not and perhaps can never understand or reciprocate love. Maybe loving them will bring about their conversion, maybe not; but not loving them or repaying them eye for an eye will not bring about anything except mass blindness. Besides the whole problem I face is being married to a person who had a very difficult life and somehow never learned that love is not about getting your own needs met or having certain feelings or emotions.

you’ve just described virtually every “love” in my life… but again, i sometimes think that if a person (like the one you describe) is not responding… and not wanting to work on things… best just to pray…

And Jesus? Well he knew 2000 years ago how often I would make a mess of everything and he still hung on that cross for me. By contrast loving the one person in my life who is utterly dyfunctional seems like nothing.

JB

yes, i u/stand that thing about “contrast”… your cross w/ His…

and yet your cross is His cross… He carries it with you…

and that cross can seem every bit as heavy as His…

hard to belive sometimes but crosses are good for us… They teach us (if nothing else) to desire Jesus… the one who never rejects anyone… (except those who reject Him… forever)…


#15

yes but i know of pepole who sacrifice a lot… who give a lot… and get nothing in return… just get used as a doormat or whatever… I think if one puts his focus on Jesus… all that other stuff (human relationships) will fall into place and if they don’t, they are not meant to be (for us)…

i agree that too strict is better than too lenient when rearing children. The world being in such a despicable state as it is today, at least it serves as a compass in times of doubt. Because when in doubt, usually the correct answer is the one that today’s world shuns.

well said… Jesus said to take the narrow way…

We humans do not want to do that… but i have had it shown to me over and over that the narrow way… is usually the best way - regardless of what situation you are speaking of…

Even so, again, we humans dont’ like difficulties… and there is nothing wrong with that because in heaven, there are no difficulties… and we are made for Heaven… so we instinctively know this, that there shouldn’t be all these problesm… .all this sin… and discord, etc… We instinctively know that we belong in a better Place…

but, of course, we are not now in heaven… so…

and may never get there if we don’t do the hard stuff it takes to get there… It is hard because the world doesn’t care whether anyone goes to Heaven or Hell… all it cares about is $, sex… pleasure… selfishness…

so we tend to care about those things just because it surrounds us…

anyway… you probably already know all this…

just hadto get some stuff out of my system… :smiley:


#16

thanks…

i always liked the thing about a man loving his wife as he loves the Church…

wish i could find a man who loves the Church…


#17

Love is focus on the other.

It is when you like doing something simply becuase the other loves it so much, like a baseball game, or airplanes, or a impudent puppy.

It is when you don’t eat something becuase it grosses the other out.

It is when you go outside of yourself to make sure they’re ok, and they do the same for you.

And most of all it is centered in God.


#18

I definitely agree - you need to not accept any more emotional abuse! Emotional abuse or abuse of any kind is not only terribly wrong for a person to commit (if known), but is a sign of not loving Our Creator. That said, there is emotional abuse which, due to the oversensitivity of the victim is a fault with the victim and not with the supposed abuser. In fact, this is a fault that a number of us take to the confessional as it shows dysfunctional self-love rather than love for Him and His Creation. Additionally, if this person is a spouse or your child (of whatever age) you have more of a responsibility toward that person to show them unconditional emotional support than to someone you don’t know very well, simply because some of the reason for the negative actions are (unconsciously) the responsibility of the victim.


#19

It’s hard to say without knowing what type of relationship it is, how serious it is. To me it sounds like this is someone you are seriously dating (?). This is very very different than a spouse, even though you may feel you have such a strong commitment.

In my experience you have to becareful. If you go ahead and marry this person that continuously makes you wonder what you did wrong and other games like that, it only gets worse after marriage. Yet at that point you are stuck and if this person knows your values (dedication) they can use it against you. Maybe not in a malicious way all the time but living in constant confusion is hard on your self esteem. I wouldn’t belittle those types of feelings, they can be very distructive and show a lack of communication.

Once you are married, you are to love the person unconditionally. I have taken this to the extreme in my own life. Most of my marriage I struggled to understand why so much abuse was happening and tried very very hard to make it work. I only gave up when the situation put our children in danger.

But here’s the thing… after everything I still love this person as family, I have given him a lot to try to help him out, supported him financially, even let him live with us again when he was homeless (alcholism). He will always be in my life even though he causes me pain sometimes.

Where are you on sticking to the promises you make to love your spouse until the end of time? Good times and Bad? Be careful with whom you make that ultimate commitment to.

I do have to admit that everyone around me doesn’t know why I help him still. To me, once family always family.


#20

no, its a relative… Are you kidding? I wouldn’t put up with this nonsense from a significant other/spouse… which raises the question: Why put upwith it from anyoen??? Well, at this point, i don’t… anymore.

In my experience you have to becareful. If you go ahead and marry this person that continuously makes you wonder what you did wrong and other games like that, it only gets worse after marriage.

never been married but figured that was the case… Heck, its hard enough to change before you get what you want (marriage)… or think you want…

Yet at that point you are stuck and if this person knows your values (dedication) they can use it against you. Maybe not in a malicious way all the time but living in constant confusion is hard on your self esteem. I wouldn’t belittle those types of feelings, they can be very distructive and show a lack of communication.

so true… I’ve had to deal w/ this kind of thing (not so great opinion of self…) … gets tiresome…esp when you realize where its coming from, etc…

Once you are married, you are to love the person unconditionally.

i say you need to love them u/conditionally before marriage… or you never will after…

I have taken this to the extreme in my own life. Most of my marriage I struggled to understand why so much abuse was happening and tried very very hard to make it work. I only gave up when the situation put our children in danger.

i should have realized by what you wrote that you had been through this kind of thing… I feel for you… have been there… and i am glad you got out becaue of the children… so many women don’t… or don’t until too late…

But here’s the thing… after everything I still love this person as family, I have given him a lot to try to help him out, supported him financially, even let him live with us again when he was homeless (alcholism). He will always be in my life even though he causes me pain sometimes.

i hope you are not enabling him, though? This is one reason i started this thread… How do we know when we are loving someone in a chirstian way and when we are enabling? I think we should always be honest w/ a person about our true feelings about their behavior…& that honesty may not come across as very “loving”… :confused: I don’t really agree w/ AA’s assessment of alcoholics… not all of it anyway… i think that it is a “disease” more/less but it is also a moral defect… a spiritual/moral weakness… and sometimes i think people make it an excuse… to be lazy, to be abusive or whatever…People are so good at making excuses… I do it myself, of course… :frowning:

Where are you on sticking to the promises you make to love your spouse until the end of time? Good times and Bad? Be careful with whom you make that ultimate commitment to.

I do have to admit that everyone around me doesn’t know why I help him still. To me, once family always family.

well, that’s a commendable way to look @ things… to a point… I just think that, well, i guess one good thing to always do is pray over the person and the situation… praying the rosary over situations helps as well as spending time in the Real Presence… Things always look SO different There…
so… How i guess what i am wondering about is the difference between helping & enabling??


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