Love Without Limits? Nope!

I was walking around TJ Maxx the other day, after not finding anything I was actually looking to buy, when I saw the Valentine’s display up front.

I am single, but love looking at this stuff. I love all the hearts and doilies and pretty things.

I also love coffee mugs and am always looking for the perfect one that’s the perfect size. I’m picky and am also constantly breaking them. I have no idea why, except perhaps I am clumsy and they’re always around hovering. I love coffee and tea and almost any hot beverage.

I saw this coffee mug. “Love without limits.” It sounds good, right? We’re taught that we are to love unconditionally and I do believe in that. Sometimes, though, we have to love from afar.

I’ve had several conversations about abuse recently. I just wrote a story on human trafficking. Often these relationships start with a warped idea of love. They continue because of that warped view, too.

Oh, the frustration I feel when I hear someone has been beat senseless by someone who professes to love them. Then they don’t press charges or leave them because “I love them.”

I love the verses in I Corinthians 13 on love that tell how you recognize it. We should point these words in both directions and see if they are the way we love (the thing we control) and how we are loved in return (what we can’t control.)

4 Love is kind and patient,

never jealous, boastful,

proud, or 5 rude.

Love isn’t selfish

or quick tempered.

It doesn’t keep a record

of wrongs that others do.

6 Love rejoices in the truth,

but not in evil.

7 Love is always supportive,

loyal, hopeful,

and trusting.

8 Love never fails!

Love well. Practice these behaviors abundantly. Accept them in return. But also don’t let someone turn love into something it is not. Love must have limits. If someone constantly disrespects you, if they harm you, if they ridicule you, if they berate you, if they don’t see your special, maybe it’s time to establish some limits for yourself. You only control what you do and sometimes you have to realize you are not able to change them. Only you.

“Love without limits” is a crappy slogan to live by. Almost as bad as “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” For you youngsters, that was a stupid quote from the movie “Love Story” I saw as a teenager. I thought it sounded so romantic at first. Then I thought about it.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Love your people, and strangers, well. This may be as simple as a compliment for a job well done, an extra large tip to your server, giving your date your full attention, or repeating your marriage vows. It doesn’t have to be about lavish gifts or a slogan on a coffee mug. My niece has a tattoo on her wrist that says “Be Love”. Live as though you wear that tattoo.

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