This is a quote from it:
There’s a Hebrew word which is often translated as “love”. It is the Hebrew word for love, but I don’t think it means the same thing that we in the West mean when we say “love”.
The Hebrew word is ahava. Ahava is… the word hav conjugated. Hav means “to give”. Ahav is “I will give”. Ahava is the state of “I will giveness”, that is, according to these Jews, love is a state that someone goes into, wherein all they want to do is take care of and give to a partner.
Now right away you can start to see the difference between what we mean by love and what these Orthodox Jews mean by love.
If I walk up to one of my college students and… I ask a woman, you know, — Do you love him?
So she’s an intelligent person so she’ll stop and she’ll think, and she’ll have to ask herself some questions. She’ll say — Well, what does he do for me? What does he make me feel like? How good do I feel when I’m with him? How much does he do for me? How proud am I to be standing next to him?
All the questions she’s going to ask herself are questions about “Me” and “I”. When I want to know if I’m in love, from a secular western perspective, the real question I’m asking is — how much selfish pleasure am I deriving from the relationship, and if I derive enough, then I cross this threshold called “love”.
But if you pull aside one of these Orthodox Jews and you ask them — Do you love her? So he has to stop and ask himself a completely different set of questions. He has to ask himself — How much am I willing to let go of what I want for her sake? How much am I willing to sacrifice for the sake of my beloved? What am I willing to let go of for her? It’s all about “her”, “her”, “her”.
It’s all about the other. Ahava, I will give.
If I want to know if I’m in love, if I’m in ahava from a Jewish perspective, so then the whole question is — how much am I willing to let go of for the sake of the other.
I know why I am so comfortable with the way this guy writes – it’s because I’m so familiar with this type of thinking. It’s how Jesus lived and what He taught us to be like… Him!
The writer goes on to ensure that people don’t become doormats and don’t get involved with a woman who will take advantage of them and avoid at all costs a woman who will abuse their giving.
So my question for you men is this – unconditional giving might be a key to loving her, but how do we maintain boundaries and protect ourselves from being a doormat, which is something that no woman would ever respect?