I Want to Know What Love Is

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

When the band Foreigner recorded their hit song, I Want to Know What Love Is,* they pinpointed the deepest yearning of each of us on planet earth since the beginning of the human race.  

Can I hear an amen? Yes, the title of the song is that profound.

I have been reading lately some articles that remind me how interlaced are our emotions with the need to not only be loved but to know what love is.  While the song implies that one person, presumably a lover, is able to reveal all that love means to the singer, the truth is no one can.  Individuals can display love on a personal scale, but cannot guarantee another will recognize that love when they see it. 

Our concepts of love are each different  

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me

There is an emptiness inside each of us, though not everyone is aware of it or not simultaneously or not to a similar degree. Emptiness is subjective. 

For example, Patty tells John she loves him. John only hears words. He wants Patty to express pride in him and some admiration for his hard work. Meanwhile, Patty wants to know that John thinks about her when they are apart. Instead, he says I love you when they are together.

Do these people love each other? Yes. Are they meeting each other’s desire to know what love is? No.

We provide our answers

In my life, there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life

The singer has searched and keeps on hoping even when pain seems too much to bear. Like so many people who are deeply scarred by betrayal, abuse, divorce, unfaithfulness, lies, and game-playing in relationships, it is difficult to trust when one has been so frightened and hurt. Yet he longs for love more than for escape.

While we rely on the hope and strength of others when we are weak, it is we who are ultimately responsible for saving our own emotional lives.

2 ways to do just that

  1. Express what it is you want. For example, if the quarantine is stirring up loneliness, let your friends and family know. Depression tells us that others should care more and better. They should know I need them! However, we must open the door ourselves. Ask a friend to check on you every few days. Ask another to give you 15 minutes to express your feelings. Be specific. People do not know what you need unless you tell them. 
  2.  Where better to go for the best except to the maker of the best? From pastry to love, there are creators who know what to offer. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One who shares, created us for, and is by nature, love. God’s love never fails and never ends. I learned late in life that if I want to know what love is, my eyes have to stay on the One who is himself, love. 

Blessings to you all.

Today’s Helpful Word  

Psalm 100 
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. 


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

*I Want to Know What Love Is. Recorded by Foreigner. Songwriter: Michael Leslie Jones
© 1984 SOMERSET SONGS PUBLISHING INC. Retrieved on May 19, 2020  from https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/foreigner/iwanttoknowwhatloveis.html

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