How You Can Find True Love
What can you do to find love and to become more lovable, and not just in a romantic sense? Get rich? Improve your physical appearance?
BOTH men and women, seduced by advertising and influenced by the media, often look to such goals as solutions. Of course, it is natural and proper to care about how we look, but beauty—which is temporary at best—is not the cement of lasting bonds. Neither is wealth. What does help is showing unselfish love to others. “Practice giving, and people will give to you,” Jesus taught. (Luke 6:38) Simply put, if you want to be loved, show love.
How can we do that? Writing under the guidance of God’s holy spirit, the apostle Paul answered that question. He revealed that love is dynamic, that it is defined, not by emotions, but primarily by what it does for others and by what it refrains from doing. Note Paul’s words: “Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”—1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
How do you feel when someone is kind to you or when he or she accepts you despite the little irritating things you may say or do? Are you not drawn to a person who is sincerely concerned about you, who is not easily angered, and who is forgiving and truthful even when forgiveness and honesty are not easy?
So, act that way toward others. Jesus said: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.” (Matthew 7:12) It is not always easy to show love, yet the effort is worth it. For one thing, you will be more loved by your family, friends, marriage mate, or prospective marriage mate. Also, you will experience happiness in doing the right thing, in giving of yourself for others. Yes, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
Learn Love From the Highest Authority
Jehovah is the God of love, the highest authority on the subject. (1 John 4:8) His love moves him to teach this quality to all who are willing to learn. Consider a few examples of Bible principles that help us to love and be loved.
“Be swift about hearing, slow about speaking.” (James 1:19) A survey of more than 20,000 couples showed that the happiest people were those whose partners were good listeners. Good communication is vital in a relationship. A professor of sociology wrote: “If you want to feel alone in a relationship, be with someone who hasn’t a clue about what you are going through. Or worse, someone who does have a clue but cannot understand why your pain is a big deal.” She adds that even if two people are different in various ways, “if a partner is sensitive to how you see the world and experience life, then those differences are unimportant.”
“You are cramped for room in your own tender affections. . . . Widen out.” (2 Corinthians 6:12, 13) We benefit when we widen out in our love for others. A publication from Harvard Medical School states: “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have social support—that is, satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community—are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
“Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works.” (Hebrews 10:24, 25) We are influenced by our associates. By spending time with those who show genuine Christian love, you will experience this quality firsthand and learn how you can demonstrate it in your life. Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to display such love among themselves, knowing that it is an identifying mark of Jesus’ true disciples. (John 13:35) You are most welcome to attend their Christian meetings.
If you feel unloved, do not be discouraged or judge yourself harshly. Keep in mind that Jehovah sees your situation. Do you recall Leah, mentioned in the first article of this series? Jehovah took note of her situation, and she came to be the mother of six sons and one daughter—a rich blessing in an era when children were considered such a precious asset! Furthermore, all of Leah’s sons became forefathers of tribes in Israel. (Genesis 29:30-35; 30:16-21) How comforting God’s loving concern must have been to Leah!
In the new world promised in the Scriptures, no one will feel unloved. Instead, true love will permeate human society. (Isaiah 11:9; 1 John 4:7-12) So let us demonstrate now that we want to be there, by cultivating the love that is taught in the Bible and that has been demonstrated by its Author. Yes, real joy lies not just in being loved but in showing unselfish love for others.—Matthew 5:46-48; 1 Peter 1:22.
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“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35
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If you want to be loved, show love