Love does not mean sacrificing any and all personal desires to fill the desires of someone else. It does not mean allowing people to mistreat you in the name of loyalty or peace or tolerance. It does not mean “never having to say you're sorry.” It does not mean that you own someone (or they own you).

Love Hacks

We are commanded to love others as God loves us. Charity. The pure love of Christ. With unfailing compassion, patience, and mercy. The past few weeks I've been pondering a great deal on love and relationships and family and eternity.

What does love mean to you? How do you show love in difficult circumstances? What does Christlike love look like? 

#1 Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace

By Ester Rasband

First published in the late 1990s, this book verbalized so well what I had intuited since the beginning of the self-esteem fad. How had people survived and flourished for eons without being endlessly patted on their collective heads and given trophies for losing? How did people feel good without constant external validation? And, perhaps more to the point, why was there so much depression and suicide in a climate of extreme privilege, opportunity, freedom, and advantage?

The religious mantra for self-love has become “love they neighbor as thyself.” This has been oddly interpreted to mean you must love yourself before you can love someone else. But the scripture doesn't say that. Rather, it assumes self-love and commands you to extend that love outward.

I'm recommending this book nearly two decades later because it's still the best thing I've read.

#2 The Secret to Being Liked

By Glennon Doyle Melton

As per usual, it's not about making ourselves look good, boosting our own self-esteem, or taking more selfies. The magic ingredient is looking outward. How to make friends in one easy step.

#3 Love Gets Better with Age

I know how romantic young live is. Even being married for 30 years, I'm not quite to old too have forgotten everything about it. And I have seen it anew as my children have begun to marry their true loves. In that in-between stage between young love and old, I am far enough along to appreciate the intensity and fullness of long-term love. Familiarity need not breed contempt. It can breed richness, security, comfort, contentment, history, understanding, friendship, loyalty, and, yes, even passion. Enjoy this beautiful couple and look to the future with anticipation.