Have you ever felt the energy of love? Do you know what it is? Have you ever allowed yourself to be fully in the moment, embracing the gift? Love’s vitality is profound and can be experienced when there is a deep and meaningful exchange of intimacy. A moment in time when two people share such depth of meaning that the energy exchanged is palpable.

Love is more than just a feeling, it is participating in a connection that can be powerful in closeness. To experience the act of such love, you must challenge yourself to go to the depths of intimacy and connect with another person at a level that is seldom accomplished. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable to such a depth, the energy that can be experienced is as clear and radiant as an electrically charged bolt of lightning. The power almost raises you to a new level of experience. You are at a better place because of the exchange. The connection raises you and leaves you with a deep sense of happiness and contentment, yet you anxiously hunger for the fascinating journey that is promised.

As sentimental as this sounds (and I know it does) there is a physiological change that occurs when we experience this type of love. Over the past number of years, scientists have studied MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain when people experience love.

Researchers lead by Dr. Helen Fisher, found that feelings of intensive romantic love are linked to the area of the brain where there is a high level of dopamine activity (the brain chemical which produces feelings of satisfaction and pleasure). These areas of the brain are linked to feeling an increased energy, a motivation to win a reward, and feeling elated. In women this activity was primarily focused in the areas of the brain which are related to reward, emotion and attention. In men, the increase in activity was primarily found in the area of the brain responsible for visual processing – including the area associated with sexual arousal. (Dr Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey)

As exciting and exhilarating as this deep love sounds, it takes a willingness to be vulnerable. You need to allow yourself to be open and exposed in all areas of love – intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical. This is why loving to these depths is seldom realized… to be this vulnerable can be frightening… and shutting down is sometimes the only way to feel safe.

Lewis Smedes (Don’t you love his name?!) in his book, Love Beyond Limits, suggests that love is a spiritual gift – a gift which comes from God. His writing suggests the need to practice loving and receiving love. I wonder if what Smedes was suggesting is that love is not just a feeling, but rather a way to live – an action word. Love is a way of being in which we make a choice to participate each day and in every relationship we encounter. Smedes encourages us to choose to live love as is outlined in his book with 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 as his model.

  • Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
  • It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
  • It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
  • Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
  • Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
  • Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!
  • But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
  • When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
  • Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
  • Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.

Think about it, it makes perfect sense! If you live a life of love and find relationship partners who strive to live love as well, then you will feel more secure in your relationships. As a result, (when you feel safe and others feel safe as well) you will be able to explore depths of intimacy that charge the electricity of connection – of living love.

So choose relationship partners wisely and look for those people who live love as I Corinthians 13: 4-13 clearly instructs. When you do, you have just opened the door to an incredible possibility and the hope of what God desires for you and your relationships.

Pray for God to help you live your life in love so that you can be more: patient,
kind, humble, polite, compromising, tolerant, even-tempered, forgiving, justice seeking, honest, perseverant, faithful, hopeful, tolerant…