“Oh, how I love you, Sunshine! I can’t help thinking of you every second of every minute of every hour …” and the next thing you know he/she is sick of the whole relationship and wants out!
I look around me and I see that every movie has a romantic story; whether a thriller or an action movie or a scary movie, there’s always that cute girl and that guy who likes her, which makes the story interesting. As a marketing and advertising student, I can’t help analyzing every TV commercial or billboard that come my way, and guess what! Most of these ads use the element of “love” or attraction to make the advertising work!
So what’s with us and “love” … really? And why do we become so vulnerable the moment we encounter the possibility of falling in love? You’re going to answer me saying that we were born with such instincts. Okay that is so true, but you know what I’ve discovered along with many others. Are you ready? Well here we go …
The reason why we are love-seekers is because it feels good. Of course there’s also that fear of growing old alone. However, even after we have met someone and have been with them for such a long time and are no longer afraid of facing the world on our own, it is somehow easy for us to let go of what was once called “love” that has joined the two of us, simply because we don’t “feel” the same anymore.
How many times have you been in a relationship where you got to a point you thought that you were walking hand in hand, side by side with your lover, but in a glimpse you looked around and found that he’s still steps away from you, and then his words breach into your heart like poison sucking the life out of you when he simply says “I’m sorry, I just don’t feel the same for you any more!” You even might have been the one saying these words.
What is truly left, when the feelings are gone?
I am a person who’s been somewhere around that neighborhood, and I’ve been through failures. And have seen people around me struggle with all of this. In fact I didn’t want to be the person who goes on such a ride without reading the manual because I didn’t want more drama in my life; the movies I’ve seen were enough, thank you very much!
So I started reading books, reading articles, watching talk shows about love and the do’s and don’ts in a relationship … oh God, I got to a point where I would start my conversations with “I read a book which says that …” or “ Do you know what Christian Carter says in his newsletter on love …” Yep, that much!
’Til the day I got to a point where I noticed that I really don’t want my future relationship to be so complicated. And I learned my lesson without knowing it. I realized that everything I knew about love was so confused and blurred, because very few people do know the truth about love, so how can they teach me and you what they only think they know! And here my friend lies the secret of everything. Here is the true love manual:
Love is Patient;
Love is Kind;
Love is not envious or boastful
or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrong doing,
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love Never fails.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
On my journey to know true love, I discovered how much I have failed to love others but still expected them to love me! If you can read the words of this chapter in the Bible and sense their power moving you deep inside, then I think I’ve reached my goal here.
Love is not just a feeling. The feeling we experience when we first meet someone, this passion that drives us crazy and make us do unpredictable things doesn’t last forever (unfortunately). I would like to think of passionate beginnings as “appetizers.”
When you usually go to a restaurant you order appetizers, whatever you’d like. Whether you ordered French fries or cheese rolls or anything else, these are still appetizers and not the main dish, even if you walk out of the restaurant stuffed and full. And appetizers are supposed to prepare you for the main meal.
This is the way it is with love. These intense feelings are just appetizers; they are beautiful, exciting, and essential. But love (the main dish) is when you know not only the good side of the person, but also his/her worst side and still you make up your mind to love them no matter what. That is love. This is why you see that in this passage the apostle Paul doesn’t start by describing what a beautiful feeling love is. Imagine that he had written the following:
“Love is a beautiful sensation, it makes your heart beat faster, and your knees go weaker until you soar like a bird in the sky …”
I’m sorry. He didn’t say that. Nevertheless, he said, “Love is Patient, Love is kind …” and the list goes on and on. In other words, what he meant to say is: Love is an action.
Love is what remains after passion is gone. It is the willingness to act out of love even if you don’t feel like it. If many of us understand this concept there would most probably not be any divorce cases in courts, nor broken homes, nor fake friendships.
One more statement I’d like to make before I sum it all up is that Paul would not have been able to know all these things about love if he hadn’t experienced it. He saw love himself face to face the day he was forgiven by Jesus Christ. And the same goes for me.
I struggle (’cause it is a struggle sometimes) every day to love those around me, no matter what they do, whether they love me or not, or even if I think they don’t deserve it. I try to love them when they provoke me, hurt me, or give me a hard time. Because, I never did deserve God’s love, and if Jesus Christ were to treat me and you the way we deserve to be treated He wouldn’t have chosen to die on the cross, bearing all our sins and weaknesses, only to be raised in victory so that we would know love, that we may learn how to love one another.
It is not a weakness to love this kind of love; it takes a wise person to choose to do so. To truly, unconditionally love someone … it takes a hero!