When we think of love we don't imagine that it could hurt someone. Love is an embrace of friendship and respect and in some case an expression of romantic emotions drawing two people into an intimate relationship. This love for another can be an expression of the deep love that God has given us to share. God first loved us (1 John: 19) and from that love, we are able to love one another. In its purest form, no one gets hurt.

But sometimes our feelings of "love" for others can be hurtful if they disrupt existing relationships or are pursued for the purpose of achieving a loving response. Our need for love may exceed our love for the other. For young people, this can be a problem if one falls in love with someone whose feelings are not reciprocal. The relationship is not mutual. Grief can ensue for the one who feels rejected.

A situation parents sometimes face is letting their older children make decisions for themselves even if the parent thinks the choices are wrong. Love may not be to continue making the child's decisions but to allow the child the freedom to grow up. Smothering love even with good intentions can be harmful.

Tough love is another way that true love can be given even if it seems to be unloving. It's not a loving act to supply liquor to a friend who is an alcoholic. The true friend will be the one who picks the alcoholic up when he or she hits bottom.

More examples could be given of situations when inappropriate "loving" can be hurtful. A good rule to follow if someone is likely to be hurt by love is not to withdraw your love. Love more! Look at the person from a healthier point of view. Increasing your love can change the way you look at the person. Instead of loving for one's own satisfaction, love others more so that you wouldn't think of harming them.

The word love is used in ways that are selfish and ways that honor the worth and respect due others. Strive for this higher good.