The Merriam-Webster English Dictionary defines love as follows:
- Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties;
- Attraction based on sexual desire;
- Affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interest;
- Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion;
- Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another;
- And more.
The definition I find most helpful is based on one of the most ancient languages in the world. Hebrew.
The Hebrew word for love is(ahava), which means ‘to give.’
Giving is fundamental to loving. The love relationship between a Husband and Wife is to be that of giving – each to the other. The more we invest of ourselves in our partner, the stronger the connection and the deeper the love. This entails words of affirmation, acts of service, giving gifts, physical touch, and the giving of quality time (The 5 Love Languages).
Love is not something that simply happens to us but something that we create through our actions when we give of ourselves to others. (Chabad).
Since we have no control over the other, love does not begin with the other person; we need to begin with ourselves.