When it comes to love, we do a lot of TALKING. Don’t we?
Quick. Take a vote. All in favor of LOVE … let’s see a show of hands!
…Okay. Love wins! Yay!!!
Pretty simple. Right?
Let’s TALK ABOUT love some more. I recently posted about LOVE. Love hurts. Agape hurts. (The song Love Hurts is from the radio, most famously performed by Nazareth, but actually recorded by several artists). Also, I considered the standard analysis of the Greek terms for LOVE (the usual “reminders” about Phileo, Eros, and Agape). I posted all that good stuff. I TALKED ABOUT love.
And LOVE does hurt. It costs the giver suffering and sacrifice. Those are discipleship 101 topics, actually. And we TALKED ABOUT that stuff too.
And it’s all good stuff. Real good stuff to TALK ABOUT. Important information, really Good “reminders” – as we are apt to say.
When it comes to TALKING ABOUT love, we do a lot of TALKING. Don’t we?
Even I do this. If you are a regular reader on this blog, you will recognize that I refer to a handful of recent previous posts in the paragraphs above. So, let me just point out right now that I am all in favor of TALKING ABOUT love. We should do more of it, not less.
Sometimes I meet people who say they don’t want to use the word “love” loosely, thus they restrain themselves from it. If I understand them correctly, they are claiming that they respect the word “love” and want to reserve the use of it for the most appropriate times and places and not drag it through the mud like so many do when they use it in place of “lust” or other manipulative circumstances.
While I am not for disrespecting the word, I take a different view, actually. I think we need to use the word more, not less, and we need to maintain the respect at the same time. After all, the world needs more love, not less and was made in love, by the loving Creator, as a place to share the love.
But I concur that we must then respect it.
In TALKING ABOUT love, I want to point out another element, another aspect, besides the usual “good reminders,” other also than the unusual observations about suffering and sacrifice. I have posted on this before too, many times, but not so recently, I think. I want to point out that love is about celebration.
I move from merely TALKING ABOUT love to actually the doing of (or sharing/inviting to share) love when I celebrate you. There is not some strict line between TALKING ABOUT love and actually sharing it. It is possible, and frequently advisable, to TALK ABOUT love while sharing it. But, it is possible to get stuck in merely TALKING ABOUT love without actually sharing it.
I recall as a young newlywed in counseling making the analysis that as I plan for my anniversary celebration, I would secure time off work, make reservations at the hotel/restaurant, pack a bag, fuel up the car and check all the pressures and fluids. In fact, it might be the more responsible thing to do to make a check off list of all the rather mundane things involved. My plans should include emergency preparations and contingencies. It could all get quite elaborate. Purchase a gift, a card, some flowers.
I am doing pretty good just to remember the date! But if I really love my wife, I should do all of this and more (or something very like it).
But it would be very odd if when we are finally sitting down at our table with the fine view of the mountain and the lovely music playing and the waiter taking our order if instead of taking my bride’s hand in mine and looking into her eyes to say “I love you,” ratherI whip out my check list and read it off to her and double check everything on it JUST TO BE SURE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. Heaven help me if I do this again when we retire to our honeymoon suite! I could botch the whole thing by TALKING ABOUT love at that point.
The older I get, the more I realize how intricate all of this works out. I get my coat and hat on and prepare to leave to go to my job and I see my three year old crying for me to stay. He pats the seat in the living room in an attempt to show me where I need to be so he can get my love. Never mind that I have work to do on his behalf, money to be earned so that I can feed and clothe him or buy his Christmas present! If I go, I am loving him. If I stay and sit, I am loving him. But one of these is the celebration and the other is not. And if I never get around to the celebrating part, or if I short-change it with all the TALKING ABOUT love, then it never really quite is LOVE.
This is starting to get a bit daunting, I suppose.
I remember sitting in a marriage counselor’s office in the months leading up to my divorce and ironing out all the ways I loved my wife. Important, mature stuff. I shouldn’t expect my 3 year old, adopted child, to understand or appreciate that breaking away from building a train set with him to prepare dinner or wash the laundry is a matter of my loving him. In time he will come to that. But I do expect my wife to actually feel valued when I do such things. But somewhere in all the analysis of that counseling session, I used the word “special” and the counselor seized upon it to get me to explore more what that meant. All the mundane stuff was important, alright, and without it, we would not have love, but there is the special things too – also without which we do not really have love.
In this post, I am TALKING ABOUT love in some important ways.
TALKING ABOUT love is important, and even plays a part in the sharing of the love. But it is a mistake to confuse all the TALK ABOUT love with the celebration of the beloved.