What is love?
Is it an intimate kiss shared with that special someone? A dozen red roses from a secret admirer? Or perhaps a romantic weekend getaway? Seemingly a simple question, yet when we peel back the layers we quickly see there is much more to love than meets the eye.
Merriam-Webster defines love as a “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”, while dictionary.com has over twenty separate definitions for the word! The bible speaks of four separate types of love—eros, storge, philia, and agape—each with their own specific characteristics and meaning.
So while it might be hard to pin down a single, concrete definition, one thing’s for sure—it’s about much more than just a feeling!
Benefits of Love – By the Numbers
Many studies have shown that healthy and supportive relationships—be they romantic, familial, friendly, or otherwise—can be linked to higher self-esteem, an increased sense of self-worth, and improved self-confidence (CanopyHealth). So not only are you building up others, you’re also making yourself a better person in the process!
Along with its positive impact on mental health, love is also hugely physically beneficial as well. A few of these physical benefits include:
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Low blood pressure
- Improved immune health
- Faster recovery from illness
What’s more, loving, committed relationships have been shown to reduce stress and even increase life expectancy (healthline)!
Simply put, love is good for your health!
Love – It’s What You Do
“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
Love isn’t just how you feel. Sure, that’s a part of it, and those feelings of joy, happiness, and affection can be wonderful, but love is more than that—it’s what you do.
With that in mind, this month we challenge you to go out of your way to love on people like never before. Surprise your spouse with flowers, spend a day at the park with your children, or treat an old friend to dinner. Go above and beyond for your boss at work, without being asked and without expecting anything in return. Pray for a stranger.
When you shift your perspective from how you feel to what type of impact you can make, you begin to unlock the powerful potential that love can have upon the world.
Love – It’s What We Do
Love is at the forefront of everything we do here at the Dream Center. Our mission is to transform lives and communities through Christ—mind, body, and spirit—so that we can help as many people as possible live out their God given dream.
- One of the ways we do this is by putting love into action through our numerous outreach programs! Our food distribution programs feed, on average, more than 20,000 people monthly! And over the course of a year, more than 500,000 bags of groceries are distributed throughout the city! Mind blowing, right?!?!
- In a typical month, our clothing outreach program gives away over 20,000 articles of clothing!
- Every week our jail outreach teams visit Men’s Central Jail, providing bible study, mentorship, and prayer to men in need, many of whom choose to enroll in our recovery programs upon their release.
Love—it’s what we do!
Practice Love with the Dream Center
Are you looking for opportunities to pour love and kindness out onto your community, but you’re not quite sure where to go or how to get started? It’s okay, we’ve got you covered!
Join us at the Dream Center! Every Saturday morning our Adopt A Block team gathers here on campus before scattering throughout the city to serve our community. Each week we visit twenty-three underserved neighborhoods, with the goal of finding needs and filling them.
We pass out food and basic hygiene items, play games with the neighborhood children, pick up trash, and visit families door to door, offering prayer. It’s an awesome opportunity to put the labor of love into action! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, we’d LOVE for you to come join us!
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” – Matthew 25:35-36