Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
Proverbs 10:12 (ESV)
Love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)
Most people’s love will grow cold.
Jesus in Matthew 24:12 (NASB)
The definition of love has been deconstructed in our society so that now it means almost nothing. It is as fleeting as the wind. “I love you” means “I feel love for you.” But feelings are here today and gone tomorrow. So if the feeling of love is gone, we are gone. “Life’s too short.” “I’m not gonna take it any more.” “We were young and dumb.” “We’re just so different.” “We grew apart.”
If your partner is saying these things to you, watch out! This is the language of divorce. This is the language of love growing cold. We seem to be worried about global warming. I’m more worried about global freezing: love growing cold. Broken families. Broken lives. “The kids’ll be fine.” No they won’t. They were supposed to grow up in a family that showed that love covers a multitude of sins. Now they are shown instead that feeling love is shallow, hallow, you can’t depend upon it. If mom’s love for dad was temporary and dad’s love for mom was fleeting, then why NOT sleep with my boyfriend? Why NOT get drunk? Why NOT spend myself silly? Why NOT flunk out of school? Why do anything except live for myself? Mom did. Dad did. Then again…look where it got them. Hmmmmm….
The historic definition of love, Real Love, is a love that is a choice. It’s an act of the will. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love does not seek it’s own. Love forgives. Love sacrifices.
Feeling Love asks: what does my partner need to do to love me? Real Love asks: what do I need to do to love my partner?
Feeling Love asks: what have you done for me lately? Real Love asks: what can I do for you? Do you need anything? How can I serve you?
Feeling Love says: you hurt me, I’ll hurt you back. I can’t let you off the hook or then you will think that what you have done is of no consequence. I need to remind you how bad you’ve hurt me, how much you’ve disappointed me, how far you’ve fallen. You don’t meet my expectations…You…you…you…you…don’t…don’…don’t…I can’t put up with this anymore…I…I…I…I…can’t…can’t…can’t….
Real Love says: Where does it hurt? What can I do to help? You seem down. What’s up? Do you need some time? We’ll get through it. I believe in you. You’re the best. I missed you. But mostly, Real Love doesn’t say anything. It does. It works hard. It gives overtime. It overlooks wrong. It cuts slack. It gives the benefit of the doubt. It high fives. It laughs at adversity. It binds up wounds. It buries the hurt. It doesn’t deny that hurt is there. It just denies hurt the power to keep love from loving.
Lord, help me to turn up my thermostat.