How can I best love you?
Rev. Dr. Steven Koski
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“What would love look like for you today? How can I best love you?” Those questions asked of me yesterday left me stunned. I was used to being asked is there something I can do for you. The question, “How can I best love you?” felt different. The question itself felt like love. There were no hidden opinions of how I should be loved. There were no assumptions of how I need to be loved. There were no expectations that I better let them love or I will disappointment them. The desire wasn’t to do something. The desire was to leave me feeling loved. I even felt like it would be ok and there would be no judgment if I didn’t have an answer.
The question itself – “How can I best love you right now?” – strangely left my heart feeling lighter. Thich Nhat Hanh said, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
I have officiated over 500 weddings. I have sat with countless couples struggling in their relationships. The common thread I witness in relationships that have stopped being life giving is this : We tend to love one another in the way we are comfortable loving. We love one another in the way we think they need to be loved. We don’t always love in the way the other needs to be loved. We don’t love in a way the other feels free.
We experience conflict in relationships because we follow the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Think about it, if we treat others the way we want to be treated we assume their needs are the same as our needs. We use ourselves as the frame of reference for the love we give.
Forget the Golden Rule. Follow the Platinum Rule. Do unto others as they prefer and need to be done unto. In other words, love others based on their needs and not on what you assume or judge they need.
1 Cor. 13 says, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not insist on its own way.”
Imagine a love that doesn’t insist on its own way. Imagine a love willing to sacrifice and be uncomfortable because it is what the other needs. This is a love that frees the heart of the giver and the receiver.
One simple question can change everything for you and those you love -“How can I best love you right now? What would love look like?”