What is love? I've read one definition of love which says " Love is a heterogeneous conglomeration of absurdity calculated to bamboozle the anatomy of the individual who becomes intoxicated with its abominable and irresistible power". Another one says " Love is a feeling you feel when you feel that you're going to get a feeling that you never felt before". Whatever that is, it surely isn't love!
The shortest and most most profound love statement is "God is love". And others would say that it's not that kind of love that they are talking about. Love that is romantic - the hugging and kissing love. But that is the kind of love we are talking about - all true love ->parent for child, husband for wife, girlfriend for boyfriend - all true love comes from God. But for every good thing that God created, the devil has improvised a counterfeit. Love's counterfeit is infatuation. The big question is: how can one discern the counterfeit from the genuine? Here are some differences:
- Infatuation is ruled by feelings, but love's feelings are ruled by principles. In the field of infatuation, the feelings are in charge. But the problem is that our feelings are fickle. They change easily. Today I feel great so I kiss her. Tomorrow I feel terrible so I kick her. That's not love! True love has feelings, tender feelings which are put in the human heart by a caring God. But love is not composed of feelings only. It is feelings plus principle. Moreover, love is not controlled by feelings. It does not do anything and everything it feels. Rather, in true love, the feelings are under the control of principle.
- Infatuation is blind, but love sees and examines. Like Cupid, infatuation is blind. When a girl recognizes that her boyfriend is hooked on drugs but still proceeds with plans for marriage, Cupid has wounded her. When a boy observes his girlfriend flirting continuously with other men, but still goes ahead with the love affair, infatuation has blinded him! True love uses its eyes to see and examine weaknesses of the prospective partner. It is not afraid to ask hard questions nor do difficult examinations.
- Infatuation is in a hurry, but love takes time. Everything of permanent value in life takes time. We can build a shack overnight, but if we are building a house that will stand the fury of a typhoon or hurricane, that takes time. We can put up an artificial Christmas tree overnight, but to grow a real tree takes time. It has to be planted, watered and nourished for weeks, months or years. Love is a plant - a tender, precious plant. Infatuation is ever in a hurry. See her today, court her tomorrow and marry her the day after!Growing a relationship takes time and God expects couples in love to "grow up".
- Infatuation is obsessed with externals, but love is concerned with internals. Puppy love is obsessed with the figure, is a slave to fashion, and is intoxicated with sex appeal. True love admires the figure, appreciates appropriate fashion, and anticipates sexual intimacy within the bond of marriage. But these are not the greatest concerns of true love. True love is more concerned with the personality, the kind of person the partner really is. Love examines the habits, the inner virtues or vices. True love pays attention to the character, the inner self.
- Infatuation is childish but love is mature. Childish and selfish love has little or no concern for the other. It is self-centered. But true love is concerned with the welfare of one's partner. Infatuation cries for gratification today regardless of the consequences later. But true love refrains from enjoying today that which it will regret tomorrow. Infatuation thinks and behaves like a child, but true love is mature - it has put childish ways behind.
- Infatuation is a human ditch, but love is a divine ladder. One goes down the other goes up. infatuation is a ditch into which blindfolded people fall, but love is a ladder onto which wide-eyed people climb. so, while infatuation is a human pit, true love is a divine ladder. And every person has the freedom to choose between the tragedy of one and the triumph of the other.