While I agree that love can and is cultural in expression, I believe as well that foundational tenets or pillars of human love are universal. Despite culture, lifestyle choices, or religious affiliations, we all have the same basic needs.

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While this may not be popular it is nonetheless true that all of us crave the same things as it relates relationships. God in his infinite wisdom created us with basic needs that insured that no one would be left out. I believe we can experience fulfillment in relationships if we commit to offering and then receiving that which makes relationships work. Relationships are an incredible journey and while one knows or understands the universal traits that define and shape the journey, it will be challenging yet wonderful.

Love then flows from the heart of God through humanity to humanity. We are conduits then who serve God by expressing concretely his love for us. The universality of love then is really about God’s love for us exhibited through the content of our conversations and our conduct. So what are these basic traits of love?

1. Affirmation

This is about placing immeasurable value on your partner. It is the combining of words and behaviors that clearly express significant and meaningfulness. Affirmation is evident in how supportive and confirming one is of their partner.

2. Affection

This involves healthy touch and intentionally encouraging words designed to build confidence in the relationship. As well the affection moves the relationship into a place where each partner trust the others desire for them. Affection involves tenderness and clear acts that communicates fondness.

3. Absolute Acceptance

This involves embracing holistically your partner and through every means possible particularly forgiveness affirming them as worthy of your love. Acceptance says I see you as deserving of my time, my energy, and my commitment.

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