Our culture loves to talk about love. It’s a central theme in music, movies, and books. Love is so important to the human experience that we spend most of our lives seeking the love we want or cultivating the love we have.
But what is love?
A lot of people talk about love in terms of good feelings. It’s the euphoria we feel when we’re dating or planning a wedding. It’s wholehearted approval of ideas within the culture even though they differ from what we believe. It’s all happy faces, roses, and rainbows.
But love is also like fire. You can harness it for good and create a better life for yourself. Or you can misuse it and burn everything you care about to the ground.
That’s because love is a force. It’s so powerful that it requires boundaries to contain it. Without boundaries, compassion, empathy, and tolerance become enabling, indifference, and self-destruction. Is it loving to ignore a family member’s addiction? Or to encourage your child in behavior that brings them harm?
Love doesn’t flourish by ripping down boundaries so that anything goes. Despite popular opinion, unlimited options don’t set us free. They ensnare us even deeper. When something is redefined to mean anything, it ultimately means nothing.
Love isn’t about feeling happy all the time. It’s about commitment, sacrifice, humility, and forgiveness. Moral boundaries don’t restrict love, they allow love to flourish and thrive.