It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Everybody is talking about love.  And while the same word is on the lips of millions of people, millions of people aren’t necessarily talking about the same thing.

Love is a feeling to some, knowledge to others, and an idea subject to individual perception.   But everywhere and every time, love is action to all.

Love God. Love People. Love Yourself.Photocredit:

What would it look like if I really loved? What would happen if I decided to illustrate that love with reckless abandon in every space that my life occupies?  What would happen if my love was more than a feeling, more than a knowing, or more than how my personal life grid allowed me to see it?

What would happen if I loved God?

Love the Lord with all your heartPhoto credit:

What would happen if I opened up my heart wide and gave Him everything I had?

I would give Him more time.

I would show my love to Him by reading His letter every chance I got. I would talk to him throughout the day.  We would not have to wait until a prescribed time to stay in touch.

I would trust Him.

When He asks me to place my hand in His and then go with Him wherever He takes me, I would gladly do it, even if I harbored a sense of anxiety and apprehension.  I would freely follow Him, because no matter where He took Me, I would be excited to be with Him.

I would tell Him the truth.

I would know that He can see clear through to the core of who I am so I wouldn’t waste time playing religious games or exerting myself in an effort to maintain a false identity.  I would exchange any guilt or shame that I carry on my back for the glorious unconditional love that He continually offers to me.

I would believe that He knows me better than I know myself… and I would care what He thinks about the life that I’m living.

I would believe what He says about me

…and live up to it.

What would happen if I loved my husband?

What if I loved my husband?

What would happen if I opened up my heart wide and gave Him everything I had?

I would give him more time.

I would realize that the relationship we have is worth the time and energy to cultivate the “we” that began on our wedding day. I would stop allowing the busyness of our days to stretch the fibers of our heart strings.  I would take the time to do my part in making sure those strings stayed nice and taut.

I would respect him.

I would stop placing conditions on his need for honor and make it my business to esteem him because he is. I would not base my treatment of my man on my current feeling about my man.  Instead, I would offer my regard and recognition because that’s what helps him to tick.

I would be speak kindly.

I would be honest and tell the truth in love because pretense is just the opposite and won’t move us forward.  I would work hard to stop letting negativity flow from my lips and would choose to use my mouth to build my husband and my house. I would be brave enough to say what needs to be said and wise enough to choose the right time to say it.

I would believe in us. I would be willing to go to war with the enemy to save my marriage and, if necessary, take one for the team.

I’d have high hopes for my marriage

…and would pour into it.

What would happen if I loved my children?

What if I loved my childrenPhoto credit:

What would happen if I opened up my heart wide and gave them everything I had?

I would give them more time.

I would realize that the time I have with them is fleeting at best and every minute answering questions for the thousandth time is a minute well spent. I would stop rushing through the difficult stages of parenting and relish every moment that will one day only be a memory. I would devote longer stretches looking them in the eye, asking probing questions, and giving them the space and time to answer… especially during those stages where they don’t want to talk very much.

I would treat them like the people I want them to be.

I wouldn’t get too caught up or discouraged with their childish mistakes. I would recognize that they are still growing.

I would speak highly of them in their hearing.

I would realize the power of my words to name their potential and use those words to prop them up rather than tear them down. I would vocally express how great I think my kids are and by doing so, speak life into the every fiber of their being.

I would believe that in the power of the future… their future

…and I would invest in it.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day.  Everybody is talking about love.  But what would happen if I REALLY loved.  What would it look like if I really loved God, my husband, and my children with everything I’ve got?

And what would happen…

if I loved MYSELF?

For more thoughts on love, check out… Part 2 of “What Would Happen If I Really Loved”