We all want to be loved. But what about being loving? Improving our lovability, aka our ability to be loving, can increase the amount of love in our daily lives.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
Are you loving?
I wasn’t loving toward Michel when right after our wedding he began disappearing with hundreds of people to take all-day long bicycle rides from GA to AL and saying that he was not interested in me.
It was right after we got married…
When Michel declared “my bicycle is my other wife I cheat on you with,” I was enraged and not loving at all. I was angry, bitter, and resentful.
And then I found an online love test. The test was evaluating one’s ability to love, aka lovability. It had a great feedback across the Internet with people saying the test changed their lives.
I decided to go for it! Love test it is!
I wanted to find out how I was doing so I could improve. The love test was assessing lovability skills based on the Biblical perspective on love.
My results? Um… 328 out of 1000.
love dare test results video
A few months later, I received a package in the mail from my friend Katharine. I opened the package and the there was a book! It was called “Lovability.”
I began to learn that lovability is my ability to love. I realized that loving people has little to do with them and mostly has to do with me. I learned that lovability is a decision. It’s the decision to be loving toward people no matter what.
For weeks, Katharine and studied the book and had long phone conversations discussing in detail how the new love skills were applicable in real everyday life.
video Katharine and I on podcast
I was fascinated with the topic of love. At the time, Michel had already abandoned our marriage and filed for a divorce saying that all he wanted was to be an IronMan and compete in Kona.
I wanted to love Michel. I needed to learn how to love. I had a burning desire to understand the Biblical, sacrificial, agape love and what it actually meant to love unconditionally.
shape love video podcast
John 13:34-35 says this:
“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
No one ever loved me unconditionally, except God. So, I turned to His Word for all answers.
Studying Biblical love helped me see where I was lacking. The love test also gave me a printout of my lovability assessment results. It outlined my lovability strengths, weaknesses, and actions to take to improve my love skills.
I saw that I desperately needed to sharpen my lovability saw. I began to learn and practice new love attitudes: acceptance, forgiveness, kindness, patience, etc.
As a result, one of my favorite Biblical poems was born.
“What Love Is” 8/23/17
Love is not a temporary feeling.
Love is a commitment and a behavior choice.
Love is a mindset of intentional healing.
Love is that kind and patient inner voice.
Love allows for acceptance and forgiveness.
Love allows for plenty of mistakes.
Love is an action, it’s courageous and fearless.
Love never fails and never forsakes.
Love always honors and does good to others.
Love is selfless and expects nothing in return.
Love perseveres, even when it suffers.
Love is a skillset we perfect as we learn.
Love is a privilege for those who experience it.
Love is a journey and a special pursuit.
Love is challenging but it is resilient.
Love is the first and foremost of the Spirit fruit.
video of what love is podcast
Love, as I realized, was a verb. It was a commitment to taking specific actions that show intentional genuine care for people.
It has their best interests in mind.
Right after Michel and I met, he gave me a Christian movie to watch called “Fireproof.”
I remember one Saturday afternoon, I just returned from a beautiful hike at the park with a friend. I settled on my grey leather sectional with my dog Bruno, a Red-White Cocker Spaniel, and I pushed “Play.”
The movie was amazing and very eventful. It was emotional. Michel was officiating a wedding that afternoon but he managed to text with me back and forth about “Fireproof.” It was quite an experience!
One takeaway was the movie was that we don’t by default know how to love. We have to learn what love is and how to love.
And for that, there’s a 40-day journey with a journal. It’s called “Lovedare.” It teaches people how to love. It gives you one new loving dare, aka challenge, a day. And it asks you questions to allow you to reflect on what you’re learning.
1 John 4:7-8 says this:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Each love dare is Bible-based, offering scriptures and devotionals to ponder.
When I saw it in the movie, I didn’t know Lovedare was an actual thing. Later, I realized that doing a daily love dare is a pursuit of many Christian spouses who want their marriages to thrive.
I bought the book called “Love Dare” and I began love dares on Michel.
Learning how to love Michel was tough after he filed for a divorce a few months following our wedding. But I remembered that the “Fireproof” movie had a similar circumstance.
The firefighter in the movie did the Lovedare on his wife. She was the one who actually filed for a divorce, too. I thought it was ironic that Michel did it but I had so much desire to love him, the divorce papers weren’t going to stop me.
Here’s the playlist of podcasts I created discussing my Lovedare journey and the details of my learning about love.
Michel and I are divorced. But the blessing of this relationship was learning that I was unloving and practicing how to be loving.
1 Corinthians 16:14 says this:
“Let all that you do be done in love.”
I’m far from perfect but my passion for having the attitude of love and taking the actions love requires of me has not evaporated from my heart.
I want and strive to be loving.
I’m getting in a habit of asking myself regularly: “Is this loving?” and “What does love require of me in this situation?”
When I look back and ponder, the love lessons I’ve learned on my Lovedare journey are very clear to me.
20 love lessons learned in my 35 years
- Love is a feeling YOU choose, you have complete control over whether or not YOU feel love
- Love is an ACTION you practice in the relationship with the person toward whom you experience the FEELING of love
- Love doesn’t have any conditions for BEING. If what you feel has performance conditions for the other person to meet, what you feel isn’t love
- Love on the inside feels like a commitment, contentment, and care; genuine care for that person you wholeheartedly love
- Love on the outside looks like kindness, vulnerability, forgiveness, and acceptance
- Love expects nothing in return because you don’t love to get anything; you Iove to GIVE genuine ACTS of love.
- Love never hurts: when we hurt people we are in a relationship with or they hurt us, what causes hurt is not love.
- Love is not the same as being IN LOVE. Love is not temporary. It’s an intentional commitment
- Love is not chemistry. Love is heart-driven and not hormones-driven
- Love is not sexual attraction. Love exists even without sex
- Love is not infatuation. Love is born not from a mere short-lived passion. Love is born from a deep sense of commitment and appreciation
- Love from first sight is a myth. Love takes time and togetherness to grow and mature
- Love doesn’t keep the record of wrongs. It give endless grace
- Love doesn’t keep the record of fights either. It’s not a score book or a checklist. Love is genuine and demands nothing for what is gives
- Love is a choice we make
- Love is a skill we obtain, develop, and perfect with time and practice
- Love is a mindset of intentional healing, forgiving, and protecting
- Love is a feeling we generate within ourselves because WE want TO love, and not for any other reason
- Love is a choice we make that requires a selfless sacrifice
- Love is always our best choice. Being loving, feeling love, and practicing love are some of the best gifts we can give to ourselves in this lifetime
podcast here with 20 lessons
Are you loving? Have you made an intentional and firm decision to love no matter what?
If you said yes, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often to remember that your lovability comes from obeying Christ’s teachings about love.
I am loving
I love people, and my love for them comes from God.
I was born again in Christ and by His grace I was awed.
Being a child of God, I practice love as a verb.
Keeping God’s commands, the wisdom of His word I absorb.
Have you taken the love test yet? Share with me in the comments below about your results and the overall journey so that I can cheer you on.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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