A couple of weeks ago Vlad said something to me about the word love. This is a very complicated word and it can have all sorts of meanings and since he is still learning the in’s and out’s of American English I can’t complicate the answer. There is love of a puppy and the puppy love of teenagers, there is love of parents and children and love between spouses. Lots of different types of love.
Most people equate love to a feeling. I’m “in” love and your heart is involved. You have feelings. The Bible is pretty clear on feelings though that they can easily mislead us. Words like believe, trust and love are all action words. So love, being an action word, means DOING. Doing something. You show love by doing. Not by feeling.
Depending on WHO you love you may show love in many different ways. A mother shows love by getting up at 5:30 in the morning to make a hot breakfast for her always hungry teenagers before they leave for school. Or jumping out of bed at 3 a.m. when you hear someone puking in the bathroom. Or cuddling on the couch at 10 p.m. for an hour and a half with a new daughter who all of a sudden wants to cuddle when all you want to do is go to bed.
A son shows love to his mother by hugging her when he gets home from said school and asking her how her day was before he asks, “what’s to eat?” Or doing some chores without being hounded about them for two hours first.
Love is not lip-service. There are lots of people out there today who say the words but there is nothing to back them up. Not long ago one teen (who will remain nameless) said, “I love you mom” right after being a royal pain in the behind for two weeks and only said it in hopes they would get a yes to something they wanted to do. HA! I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. That’s not love. Nope. That’s manipulation which is the opposite of love. And no, I didn’t cave.
Love is doing. Love is doing when you don’t want to do anything. Love is getting up to make your husband breakfast before he leaves for his Bible study group on the first day in two weeks you can sleep in and then finding out they were meeting at Panera Bread and he was eating there. At least I got a kiss out of the deal. And a couple of hours of peace and quiet before the teens woke up. Love is said husband coming back in the house to warn wife there is a small icy patch that she might not see in the dark. Especially after wife fell a few times in Ukraine and he saw a pattern he didn’t want repeated. That is showing love.
Saying “I love you” is not to be thrown around lightly either. I have a 16 year old son who I overheard saying that to his first little sweetie. Time for a little talk. Someday, I said, you are going to meet a woman who you are going to ask to be your wife. At that time you’re going to say those very powerful words. When you do you want them to mean something. You don’t want to have said them to every girl between now and then so they mean nothing to your forever love. They are not little words. They carry with them responsibility, care, and DOING! I will DO for you. I will DO for you when I don’t feel like doing for you. Don’t cheapen them. They are words for people who are in it for the long haul.
Bottom line with Vlad I explained to him that love is not what you feel as much as what you are willing to do for another person. I loved him so much that I was willing to travel halfway around the world to a strange country to get him. That was more than I did with my bio kiddos. I only gave birth to them. He kind of looked at me to see if I was joking. I wasn’t. I said, I sort of have to love them because I gave birth to them. I CHOSE to love you. And I showed my love by showing up for you. He nodded his head like, OK then. That makes sense.
Another fun time in our house!