I say "be" to mean labels. That is another example of words, other than promises and declarations of feelings that also must be tested. Labels are often used by those that do not mean to follow through on the meaning OF those labels, as a sort of legal enforcement of control.
In my own life, I have had to un "friend" many that were not friends in actuality over the years, as well as "family" that did not show any concern for my wellbeing. In our society, this has sadly become all too common. Further, there is a sort of appeasement of terrorists like mentality that has cropped up with many labels that tells you....well, they may not act nice, but they are "family," or they make fun of you or attack you, but they are "friends," or they may abuse your good nature and take advantage of you, but they are your "spouse" or "child" or "parent" or such.
Words are words. Actions are actions. If there were no labels, could they be defined such by their ACTIONS? Think for a moment. Isn't there people in your life that you consider "family" that has no blood relation to yourself? I can think of many older people that have served a kind of "mom" or "dad" role in my life over the years that were not such by blood, but they are MORE such than the person that WAS my dad, for example, that never showed any concern for my life and was cold and controlling to myself. Further, I don't think at ANY time that my ex fit the definition of WIFE to me or that situation as a "relationship" but more of an arrangement to her that allowed her to get more of what she wanted from me, until I stopped that abuse over my life. My current fiance is more of a "wife" than anyone has ever been, and we are not even married yet...marry in December.
So, what is the value of labels? What is the value of words? If they are true, you will see it in their actions, and the actions are what you will remember best. If there is no actions, the words only add to their conviction of failure. I have always been a realist kinda guy in my own life, and I hate fakeness in anyone.... relationships, family, managers, and DEFINITELY among "christians," "churches," and "ministers." It is the primary reason that, as I was in the middle of a seminary degree, after a Bible degree, I walked away from it all and why I am critical of the religious extremes, right and left politically. You have "believers" that control out of fear of disbelief, "ministers" that see it as their job to condemn, "ministries" without any programs of feeding the poor, counseling the hurt, housing the homeless...but they have a new book you can buy to make them rich. Meanwhile, there are many, many athiests or members of other faiths that reflect the nature of "Christ" and show more concern. Indeed, recently, you have members of almost ALL denominations vocally condemning how homosexuals LOVE each other in attacking their desire to marry. This is another area that offends me, and I believe would offend GOD, who said all the law and profits are found in love. What must it look like when "God's people" are known more for what they hate than how they love and when His churches are attacking those who love enough to want to be committed to each other and love each other?
Words are words. Actions are actions. Truth is found in what can be seen, not what can be said. Love is a verb of what is done. The rest is just control.
A few good books dealing with this that I have seen...I don't endorse ALL of them, but parts of them helped me..
That last one I bought for myself and my fiance, so that each of us can watch out for mistakes in interpretation and misunderstanding. It reflects a little of the understanding that men and women are different found in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, while it has some of the types of love found in Love Languages. However, what I like about it is that it basically says you must TRY and DO those things....and that some just do not. Not all failures of relationship can be defined by ignorance. Many people CHOOSE to be selfish and use, and from those the only answer is to walk away.