what does love mean

What Does Love Mean?

I asked one of our players to do an exercise in the weight room. His facial expression and body language told me that he was not willing to cooperate. Trying to find some way to motivate him, I looked at him and spoke the truth. I said, “I would ask my son to do this exercise, and I love my son!” He just stared at me with no emotion or movement. I didn’t know what he was going to do. Fortunately, he promptly sat up and proceeded to the exercise exactly how I had asked.

Everybody wants to be loved, whether it is our son, daughter, athlete, spouse, parent, neighbor or coworker. People are often still confused about what love is. There are different kinds of love: parental love, friendship love, erotic love, love of God, and so on. Love can become a mixed-up term with little meaning.

Love is not a soft, sentimental emotion. For instance, in war, soldiers have chosen to die in battle with their friends, rather than flee on their own and survive. Love is a deliberate act of one’s will. It means that I am willing to pour myself out on behalf of another person. Love is a choice and an action. Love should be directed outward toward others, not inward toward us. [Tweet This]

What does love mean and how can we best show it to our families? This is what it means.

Be Patient (Waiting without Complaint) – “My wife is habitually late. I try to exhibit patience as the clock ticks knowing that we will be late yet again. I realize that complaining only adds to the stress. Taking a few deep breaths, I wait until she is ready.”

Show Kindness (Deeds without Reward) – “I asked and was granted permission to miss a day of work during training camp to attend my sister-in-law’s wedding. This event was very important to my wife and kids. I drove 20 hours in a 48 hour time frame to attend the wedding, only expecting the treasured memories of the event to be a reward.”

Don’t Have Jealousy At my place of employment, I realize I have special gifts and talents, so I don’t have to be jealous of those who are recognized for their achievement. I can be happy for them.”

Don’t Brag – “My son likes to tell his classmates that I am a coach in the NFL. I encourage him not to brag about me and reiterate that my occupation is what I do and not who I am. I convey that I am secure with myself and don’t feel the need to proclaim my accomplishments. I encourage him to be the same way.”

Don’t Be Proud (Self-sufficiency) – “When I make a mistake or am in the wrong, I do my best to take a position of humility and say ‘I am sorry.’”

Don’t Discredit – “I do my best to see the other person’s perspective and why they may be acting or speaking in a manner that I may not agree with. I have empathy because I realize that I am not perfect and also have limitations.”

Be Selfless (Pursuing One’s Own Interest) – “I expend energy in the service of others. I do my best to make the people around me better by showing care and concern through encouragement or an act of kindness.”

Forgive (Keeps No Record of Wrong Doing) – “I do my best to settle those issues that I can settle. Although often very difficult, I try to forget those things that are behind me because I realize it only affects me.”

Do Not Be Easily Angered (Seething Bitterness towards Someone) – “I do my best to be at peace with everyone and try not to let the trivial affect me.”

Protect (Shield from Danger) – “I realize that there is no higher calling in my life than the role I play in my home.  Before anything else, my dedication lies in fulfilling that role as a husband and parent which brings security to the family unit.

Trust – “Because of an honest and authentic relationship, I give the benefit of the doubt.”

Be Hopeful for Them (Desire with Confident Expectation of Fulfillment) – “I try to see people as to what they can become, not what they are. I look for their future potential.”

Be Faithful (Persevere: Carry on, Stick with) – “I am motivated to ‘do what is right’ because I know how my choices may affect others. Also, bring an attitude of there is no other option than to make it work.”

Think for a moment about those people you connect with on a daily basis, particularly your family. How well do you demonstrate your love for them in the choices you make and the actions you take? The real test of our love is how we treat the people right in front of us. Love the people in your life!

Sound Off

What does love mean to you?

Jeff Friday
Jeff Friday

Jeff Friday is an NFL Strength and Training Coach with 15 years of experience. His work with the Cincinnati Bengals pales in comparison to the dedication he has to his wife, Jennifer and his two children, Hailey and Aiden.

  • Building Men

    One of the best All Pro Dad daily emails I have read in years. Awesome.

  • Wonderful essay, Jeff. I admire the short bio that says “[h]is work with the Cincinnati Bengals pales in comparison to the dedication he has to his wife, Jennifer and this two children, Hailey and Aiden. Awesome! The National Association of Parents salutes you as a parent!

  • Tracy Thompson

    This web site is REALLY great. Just thought I’d tell you. You will never please everyone all the time with every article, but what I’m seeing is fantastic. Please keep up the great work and pass this along to the dude who’s in charge of the web site. You all seem like amazing men, husbands and dads. Love that what you talk about is so uplifting, Biblical and right on. I would love to share this information, but I like to use it for show prep on the air, lol! Thanks for helping me out! Father’s Day will be so much easier with this site! Would you be interested in going on the air? 🙂

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Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask, “What does it mean to love someone?”

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