WHAT IS GENUINE LOVE?
By Ernest O'Neill
What is Genuine Love?
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
For instance, the husband or the wife who says they are not getting what they need in bed or the friends who say they are not getting what they want out of the relationship have got the wrong end of the stick completely. Love has nothing to do with getting, nothing at all to do with getting. The basis of a good marriage or the basis of a good friendship is not getting at all. Love is not getting. Love is giving. If a marriage is wrong, it is wrong not because you are not getting what you want in bed, but because you are not giving. Love is giving. If you have a friendship with some guy or some girl or some man or some woman at work and the friendship is not good, it's not right -- it is not because you are not getting what you want. If that is your attitude, there is no relationship, there is no friendship, there is no love. Love is not getting; love is giving. That is the whole basis of the universe. The famous verse that probably anybody in this room could quote is John 3:16 and it is the basis of our very existence here together. It runs exactly this way: "For God so loved the world that he got..."? No. "For God so loved the world that he gave..." Loving is giving.
Loved ones, the most basic of the three characteristics of genuine love is that it is concerned with giving, not with getting. I think a lot of us err there. We say, "Listen, I love. There is plenty of love in our marriage. There is plenty of love in this friendship that I have, but I am just not getting what I want out of it." Well, you are just contradicting yourself. Love is not getting; love is giving. The problem is with you, if that is your attitude. The problem isn't with them. The problem isn't that they aren't free enough physically or that they are tied up or that they are frigid or that they are not giving in their friendship what they ought to give. That is not it. The problem is with you, right down deep in there. When you are preoccupied with getting you haven't the first clue about what love is, and you had better get yourself organized because you are going to become a little animal that nobody can deal with. I think that is why a lot of us have troubles. We have almost lost the idea of what being just an ordinary human being is, let alone being a child of God. Loving is giving.