Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love Is A Verb

Hi folks, I'm back from a blogging hiatus during which I had a chance to work through some tough issues and get over a little case of the blues. Glad to say all's well in the house!

We had a great weekend recently visiting some dear friends in the Muskokas, and while we were there my friend and I were discussing a Sunday school lesson she was given, called We Should Love Our Families. It was such a cliché theme, overstating the obvious, but when we began to talk about love not as a noun (a warm, fuzzy feeling), but as in DC Talk song Love Is A Verb, it suddenly became more relevant and challenging.

I believe love is not about feelings. Sure, when you love someone you may have warm, fuzzy feelings for them, but then again you might not. Parents, when your teenager defies you and says they hate you, do you feel warm and fuzzy toward them? I'm betting you don't. Do you still love them? If you're a good parent, you do. I have heard parents say "I love you no matter what, but I don't like you very much right now." Like is a feeling. Love is action, and choice.

If you are married, this becomes very significant when your relationship with your spouse is tested. Perhaps you have been going through some difficult circumstances, you are tired, they are irritable, whatever the case, and it's not easy to love them. It's not easy, but we can choose to believe the best, consider their needs before our own, and show selfless love. When we choose to speak respectfully and act with care, regardless of how we feel in the moment, we build strong relationships.

Today's culture tells us that we should put ourselves first, but something's deeply wrong with this pop psychology message. Just look around you at all the self-absorbed people, all the failed relationships, all the egotistical, messed-up kids. LOVE - that's a different kind of bird altogether. Selfless love, true active love, is the only viable alternative.

Ask yourself, what actions can I take today that are loving towards my children? Towards my spouse? Towards my other family members? Towards my neighbours? Am I ready to accept the challenge of the imperative, love your neighbour as yourself? What will this cost me?

The cost will be great, let me tell you. Emotionally, and materially, it will cost you. But if you will stand up to the challenge, the rewards are greater still.

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