I Love It!

Pop and SonHave you ever noticed that kids sometimes have a habit of using the words “like” and “love” interchangeably?

I want my children to very clearly distinguish between what is worthy of love and what is not. I also want them to be careful about throwing around the usage of “love”, like it is an interchangeable phrase with “like”.

 For instance, my kids received items for Christmas and upon opening them exclaimed, “I Love It!” While I appreciate the fact that my children really did enjoy the blessings put before them, it was a good occasion to remind them of  one very important fact….

We don’t “love” things, we “love” people!

It is okay to really like something, in fact we enjoy seeing them appreciate the blessings around them. However, loving things is not something we recommend.

Loving something means having a deep attachment or affection. Expressing “love” for something ought to be reserved for those things of greatest importance. “Love” should be about relationship, not about a tangible thing you can hold in your hand.

If we continue to use the word “love” for everyday use (I “love” pizza; I “love” my car), then when does the word “love” have real significance?

I believe that we should reserve the word “love” for those who have meaning in our lives. It shows them how truly important they are to us and the attachment we feel towards our relationship.

I “love” my God, my family and my friends. I “like” pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. (Okay, maybe I “really like” chocolate.)

How do you feel about the word “love”?

7 thoughts on “I Love It!

  1. Disclaimer – I’m a linguist so I’m probably going to look at this through slightly different lenses, but don’t be offended because I truly like you and I love your blog (yes, love) 🙂
    I suppose it would be more convenient if English, like Greek, had different words for different kinds of love – brotherly love, friendship love, erotic love, (and a special one for chocolate love would be nice too!) etc . . . unfortunately we’re stuck with the one. Although I see your point I don’t really have a problem with using the word “love” for things – your child is going to feel the same way about her gift whether she uses the word “like” or the word “love” to describe that feeling. I don’t think anyone is actually in danger of mistaking their feelings for pizza as the same as their feelings for and devotion to their spouse or God. Please, don’t get me wrong – I’m not dissing your post because I do think it’s important to teach our children to have the appropriate attitude toward material things and to store up treasure in Heaven rather than on Earth and I know that’s your heart and your goal. My problem is that I’d have to add a whole lot of “reallys” in front of the phrase “I like chocolate” for it to convey just how much I enjoy the taste of it – much easier to express that enthusiasm with the word “love” 🙂 If my child opened their gift on Christmas morning and just said “I like this, Mom. Thanks” I guess I would feel a bit like I had missed the mark – I thought she was going to LOVE it!!! “Love” when paired with a noun can just be a way of expressing enthusiasm, excitement, joy, etc. Obviously when we use it in relation to a person, it better mean a whole lot more than that. So what I’m saying is that I don’t planning on correcting my kids for using the word “love” for a thing but like you, I do want to teach them what loving God or another person really means – the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.


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