To be painfully honest, falling in love, as we have learned from our culture, is more related to the way we feel about ourselves than it is about the way we feel toward the person we are supposedly in love with. The romantic notions that pervade our modern minds and emotions are more rooted in the literary inventions of poets and storytellers than they are real life.
Most folks enjoy a good love story. From Prince Charming to Princess Leia the idea that love can be found anywhere if you are just lucky enough, pervades nearly every aspect of our life. Unfortunately, these kinds of fantasies are never realistic and actually at odds with long-term and truly loving relationships. Have you ever wondered why many Situation Comedies thrive for years with the romantic tension of the leads, only to end shortly after they get married? Could it be that we as a culture are more in love with the idea of falling in love than we are with staying in love? No one wants to see Hans Solo sitting in front of the holographic projector stuffing down chips and soda as worn-out Leia chases after the kids.
The biggest problem with our view of love is the way we define it. Love is not a feeling, it is a verb. Love is not something that accidentally occurs to us it is something we make happen with others through our choices and actions. Some of the greatest love stories ever told are those of couples who have lived through the good and bad for years and still look lovingly into each other’s eyes at the Nursing Home. This is the kind of love most of us deeply desire but are unfortunately ill-equipped to possess.
First Corinthians 13 provides some important qualities of real love. It is not just written to marriage partners, it is written concerning all of our relationships. In a nutshell, it says, Love is: Patient, Kind, Desires good for others, Honoring, Other-Centered, Tough-skinned, Forgetful of wrongs, Truthful, Protective, Trusting, Hopeful, Long-lasting and Unfailing.
Pick one or two of these traits to practice in your relationships this week. Once you have those down pretty good, pick a few more and keep going until you begin to master the art of true love.
Father, bless my friends today with the art and skill of true love which is best illustrated by the way You love us. In Jesus Name, Amen!
If you would like more on the topics of Love, Marriage and Parenting, please post a comment and let me know. Shalom! – Rodney