By Joyce Hustad
As very young children, the most important love is the parents' love. It is a "no matter what happens" love, called unconditional love. Yet, every day as children, they want reassurance of the parents' love. So the children follow the parents' guidance and rules.
As children get a little older, they get to be with more people between school, church, and playgrounds. Friendships are formed. There is a type of love that is formed. I would like to call it the "love of friendship". I don't believe the young children go around and tell their friends, "I love you". Maybe some children will say it. You can see and feel the love in friendship, like sharing and caring that comes with respect of one another. There is a friendship guidance.
Children become teens and become more involved with groups of friends and teams, and they may have someone more special. With that someone special, I like to call it "infatuated love". We are still sharing, caring, respecting, and being guided by each other.
Children get past their teens and go to college, get a job, and/or get married. We are still following rules and guidance and are sharing and caring. This love is maturing that is reaching out to others to help and serve. Yet, it gets deeper when helping and serving to someone you don't even know or to someone that you may not particularly get along with. This is what I call a "good Samaritan love" or "brotherly love".
Yes, you can say that love is a feeling. Yet, it is also being and doing what is right for the good of others, and being and doing what your good conscience wants you to do.