Have you ever wondered if someone you hold dear to your heart actually loves you? Or more important, if you genuinely love them?
I believe love is a decision backed by a unique emotion, but it’s first a decision, which means there are indices we can use to measure our love for one another.
Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes we can be really confident that we love someone, but our actions speak differently.
Bear in mind, I haven’t written this post to condemn your actions, but to provide a guide for you to check if you truly love someone.
There are four major forms of love, but I don’t plan on diving deep into each form of love. I believe they all have the same fundamental ingredients, just in the different spectrums.
Each form of love is attributed to the different types of relationship I shared about in my book, 7 Parables of the Human Identity.
The first form of love is attributed to one that a mother would have for her child.
The second form of love is attributed to the love that a spouse would have for their partner.
The third form of love is attributed to the love that a friend would have for another.
And the fourth type of love is attributed to the love that one would have for God.
Like I mentioned, each of these forms would have the same underlying criteria.
I came across a teaching by a minister of God, named, Apostle Joshua Selman, who broke down the following four factors that show if you truly love someone.
Passion is the intense desire/energy you have towards a person or thing.
Let me ask you something, do you desire to spend more time with the person you believe you love?
For instance, you’re willing to spend your weekends with that person because you know you’re busy at work during the week.
Just as you might be passionate about your work, one indication to know that you love someone is your passion for that person.
Are you looking forward to being with that person whenever you have the time?
Passion is such a strong emotion that often leads to action. You can be excited about something but fail to take action.
For this reason, passion can often be seen when our desires are acted on.
When passion dwindles (and it will), commitment takes over to profess the love you have the other person.
The truth is we won’t always have that deep desire for someone you love, but that doesn’t mean you forget about the decision you have made to love that person.
I’m saddened when I see people fight each other and still claim to love each other.
Certainly, there are going to be disagreement but that doesn’t mean you say or do hurtful things that might be difficult to take back.
True love is committed even when things don’t seem all rosy.
Sacrifice is the ability to give up something that is valuable to you.
You can’t claim you love someone if you’re not willing to give up what you hold dear to help that person.
Sometimes people are willing to sacrifice their time and resources for the sake of the relationship.
This is good. But…
Sacrifice doesn’t comprise of self-interest.
When you sacrifice, you’re being selfless for the sake of that person.
You could give up your time to help your loved one apply for a job.
You don’t have anything directly to gain from that act, but you still do it because you love that person.
Sacrifice is an essential component of loving someone.
This is the one criteria that a lot of people look forward to when you mention the word love.
And yes, you should find pleasure in the one you love.
Pleasure isn’t the same as passion.
Passion deals with the desire while pleasure deals with the experience.
Do you enjoy spending time with the one you love?
Do you enjoy that person’s company so much that you leave your mobile phone in another room for hours?
Can you be indoors with the one you love for a week without being depressed?
As a believer of Christ, I noticed that some Christians claim to love God but don’t seem to have pleasure doing the things of God.
In fact, they want to sacrifice all day but don’t seem to find pleasure in his presence.
The issue with this is you’d end up living a life of unhappiness and I believe it’s a lot easier to suffer from depression.
Pleasure is an important factor when you weigh your love for someone.
To summarise it all, these four factors are important in maintaining a healthy relationship where love thrives.
You can’t claim to love someone if you overlook any of these four indicators.
Are you in love at the moment? And do you think you can test your love with these indicators? Let me know in the comments below.