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Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Someone I know said, "In any relationship, if you can't live 'I love you', then don't say it." Wisdom for the ages. No, really, it makes a lot of sense. Don't tell people you love them if you're not willing to live it.

We joked back and forth a bit. "Hey, if you live across the country and I can't live 'love', should I tell you I don't love you?" That kind of thing. But in a serious moment he said, "I am fond of you. I respect you. But most likely, we do not love each other. If we did, it would not be a year between correspondences."

Well, I suppose it was my own fault for joking around and bringing up the reality. Still, it's worth considering. We all know "you should call your mother!" or the like. You know, we should keep in touch with people we care about. We all know that the whole "quality is more important than quantity" thing is a truism, but, let's face it, the reality is that spending a quantity of time with your spouse is much more likely to produce quality time than trying to end up with only "quality" time and neglecting quantity.

Or, let's say it a different way. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt 6:21). Where is your heart? What moves you? To what are you dedicated? Where is your largest amount of time spent? What are your dearest aims and intentions? You see, these kinds of questions will serve you well in determining what you really treasure. In a recent article from the Daily Mail, a study indicated that 15% of women indicated that the reason for their divorce was video gaming. This is up by 10% from just a year ago. If a wife believes that her husband is more dedicated to his video gaming than to her, what does that tell you about what he treasures? I would guess that it's not her.

My friend's candor was helpful for clarifying things. We will focus on what we treasure. We will also lie to ourselves and to others about what that may be. Don't tell them you love them if you won't give them your love. And if you intend to really love them, do it. And, pause for a moment here and consider this whole thing in terms of God. You say you love Him. What do your actions say? As the old axiom says, "Actions speak louder than words."


Dan said...

More stuff from the "don't tell me that you love me" genre eeh? I disagree with your friend to a point however. I'll have to think about why and may change my mind in the process, but for now, I disagree. I guess it depends on what love is. I know the word is thrown around too liberally and that that is one reason it has lost much of its meaning; one of many reason.

Missing our coffee sessions by the way.

Stan said...

No, I understand what you're saying, and might even agree, but I think the point is still valid. When people have zero interaction, it's hard to say that it's love ... by any definition.

So ... I'm still here. Coffee just about any time. I guess a stop at the local Starbucks from Georgia would be a bit too much.

Marshall Art said...

I don't think you need to associate with every person you love in order for the word to be accurate. People drift apart in terms of interests, but not necessarily in affection for each other. My oldest friend, whom I've know going back fifty years now (CRIKEY!), lives in another state. We communicate mostly by email when either of us is so moved to do so. I don't think it's a stretch to say that either of us would drop what we were doing to lend a hand to the other in times of real need. Any time. Anywhere. Just call. That sort of thing.

So it's not hard to say it's love with little or no interaction. That suggests that constant interaction is required for the term to apply. That smacks of neurosis...or psychosis...or in any case, some mental dysfunction that reflects insecurity.

As to where one's heart is, I don't see that where one's heart is at the moment is necessarily a sign that one's heart can't be elsewhere as well. That is, my heart was finding a job for the last two years, because my heart is in supporting my family. But my heart is in the desire to have my family cared for more than in the effort needed to insure that happens, if you get my meaning. Often, my heart is on the sofa where I'd prefer to be spending some quality time with the Bulls, White Sox or Bears. But more than anything, when I must choose only one "thing", it is in with Whom I will spend eternity.

But I must live my life. My heart will be in any number of places at any given moment in time, but always toward the ultimate goal. We simply aren't constructed for focus on more than one thing at a time. If I'm enjoying a hobby, do I no longer love my wife? If I am with my wife, have I rejected my love for the hobby, even if I can no longer partake of it? I don't think so. I have given up things for my wife, my kids, my job, my hobbies and of course, my Lord. I cannot give up my desire for any of them, thus, my love for them.

Indeed, I love sinning. I love God more, so I sin as little as consciously possible. Love is a matter of what one loves most, yet love for second place is still love. What one loves most should rule over what one loves second to most and on down the line. But yeah, I'd still love to beat the crap out of some people, but that's WAY down the list of things I love and still do because of the love I have (or continue to prove I have) for God and then others who would be adversely affected by manifesting such loves.

I'm taking it to an extreme now, aren't I? Sorry.