I + Love + You... can either be a formula that equals truth or simply a shallow statement. This is a phrase that I think is often used too freely in our society, especially in dating relationships. I have seen many people get into relationships that are, well bluntly, based on a foundation of shallow love. Let me back up here...
What is love? (baby don't hurt me...Just kidding - Sorry, I couldn't resist :) ) But seriously what is love? I believe God is love. 1 John 4:8 says that He is. The greatest love ever demonstrated was God the Father sending His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for a wicked and sinful world, so that we may live eternally. Unconditional love right there. Why do I say that? Well because we definitely did not deserve that. He first loved us. And that is what I call love that is beyond my comprehension.
After understanding, or better yet trying to understand the intensity and depth of God's love, it gives me a different perspective on relationships in any capacity; friendships, family, dating relationships, marriage, etc. Love goes beyond the simple declaration of three simple words and I think we forget that from time to time.
I have seen many people get into relationships solely based on an emotional drive and once the high of emotions dies down - suddenly the relationship was "not meant to be" And I ask myself, why is this so? And so often it leads right back to the lack of the primary understanding of what love truly is.
Now, I'm no expert on relationships seeing as I've never actually been in one but from what I can gather from God's word and from what I observe, there is definitely a way that it is intended to be like. If there's one thing I've learned it's that if a relationship starts off physical - it will only go down hill from there. I know a lot of couples who have refrained or minimized their physical contact until they got to the alter and some may have called them crazy; I would call them wise.
I think its important to understand what it means to love someone. Ask yourself: would you sacrifice for this person? Do you only love them because they offer something to you? Do you care for them only when they are kind towards you? Not all, but a lot of the love I see is selfishly pursued and that is not the way it is intended to be.
I write all this because I desire to see the words "I love you" lived out. It breaks my heart to see people get into relationships just for the sake of being in one. Being in a relationship is not a must - it is something that leads into the gift of marriage and if you're not ready for that then stay far away because a relationship should not be a hobby or a temporary leisure activity - but a commitment of genuine love based on what love actually is.
It's time to break this cycle of shallow love.