Love always protects.
Love doesn't dishonor others, isn't self-seeking.
Do you know who's good at protecting others? Dogs. And moms. Moms and dogs. They know how to protect the people they love. They will fight for their loved ones till the cows come home.
We all could learn a little something from them.
Love always protects.
It doesn't protect sometimes. It doesn't protect most of the time. It doesn't protect just when it feels so inclined. It protects always-- all the time, every time, in every way.
What does it mean to protect others?
Some people do a pretty good job of protecting themselves, but others don't. And everyone could use a helping hand.
Two people standing back to back have far more protection than two individuals standing by themselves. That's the power behind saying you have someone else's back-- you're protecting them from attacks they can't see coming; you're watching out for them in a way they can't very well do for themselves.
But this doesn't just mean physical protection. It also means protecting people in other ways.
It means standing up for others when they're being talked about behind their back.
It means taking care to not offend with our words.
It means respecting and protecting their time by showing up when we say we will.
It means looking out for the best interests of others instead of just our own.
Love looks out for the interest of others and isn't self-seeking or dishonoring.
Love doesn't only look out for number one, which goes against the grain in our individualistic culture.
Love asks for permission and forgiveness.
Love considers the needs and wants of others and works to meet them, protect them, and advocate for them.
Love respects others and considers others as better than itself, not in a self-deprecating way, but in a way that devotes greater kindness, energy, and time to the other than to the self.
Love sees everyone as worthy of kindness, respect, and a listening ear.
WHAT PROTECTIVE, HONORING LOVE LOOKS LIKE
That's all well and good, but what does this kind of love really look like in our lives?
It looks like engaging in respectful conversations-- refusing to come back with a stinging reply, not taking the bait to join that argument, and hearing someone else's opinion without taking offense.
It means standing up for those who aren't being heard.
It means thinking of others' needs instead of just our own.
It means not always having to have the last word or win every argument, but to prioritize living in right relationship over being right.
How have you seen protective love in your life or someone else's? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!