Tag Archives: truth

LOVE…

LOVE

Ahhhhhhh! Love!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word?

Romance? Emotions? Honeymoon? Funny feelings in your tummy?

Kissing? Hugs?

Interestingly enough, I put this phrase into Google “first thing you think of when you hear LOVE,” and the first link to pop up for me was a Yahoo Answers link. On it were answers such as these – in no particular order:

Fairy tale

Anger, pain and sadness

…being hurt

It’s an illusion

What IS it?

What was your first thought?

For the most part, we have allowed our society to dictate to us what LOVE is.

The first thing we must realize is that LOVE has no working definition. WHAT?!?! Try to define it and someone else will come up with another definition totally different than yours. Also, some of us define love based on our own experiences – whether positive or negative.

Some would define love as “hugging your children” while another might say what you feel on your wedding day. The two are VERY different emotions/feelings, but is that love?

Some may even define love as a sexual relationship or attraction.

Here is my answer to all of these. LOVE is not ANY of these things!

So, what is love? And cue song… “baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…” (By Haddaway)

Great question! I’m glad you asked!

First let me describe what LOVE is not

It is not an emotion. It is not a feeling. It is not sex. It is not getting what you want all the time.

LOVE is a behavior, an action, a decision, a commitment. Let me be more specific:

Love is a choice. You cannot fall IN to love.

Let’s say you are standing on the edge of a cliff and down below about 20 feet is a pool of water. You are contemplating jumping off into the cool water, but you hesitate. Finally you decide it is worth the risk and you make the decision to jump in.

NOW, imagine you are on that same cliff, looking at the same water. You trip and fall tumbling over the side into the cool water. What is your first reaction? Is it one of elation? Or are you unsure of what is happening and how it will end up? Will you be pleasantly surprised? Or will you wish you had not fallen in, and you claw your way out of the water?

Which do you have more control over? YES! The first one!

At least if you make the decision to jump in, you have some idea of what you are getting yourself into. You make the commitment and you jump, understanding there are some things you may not be aware of, like how cold the water is, but nonetheless, you go for it.

We choose who to love, when to love, where to love, and how to love.

The best example I can give to you is this – Jesus. I know, I know – there he goes again talking about Jesus. Well, get over it!

Jesus gave us the best example of LOVE in the face of a most certain painful situation that was imminent should he choose to go down that path to become the sacrifice for our sins.

He had the opportunity to walk away from what would become an extremely painful death. But He was driven by love. That’s right! Why would someone choose that kind of pain and torture for love? Because He realized that from that painful circumstance it would pave the way for us to have a relationship with God.

So what is LOVE?

Love is Patient. When you are faced with a situation where you just want someone to realize you are there for them – patience is an act of love.

Love is Kind. When you would rather respond in vengeance, you decide to show kindness.

Love does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. You make the choice to be content with what you have, to be thankful for others and to look at yourself with sober judgment.

Love is not rude. When your first reaction is to be sarcastic and snarky, you decide to lock up the lips.

Love is not self-seeking – on the flip side, this means you actually look out for the needs of others.

Love is not easily angered. Ouch, that one hurt a little didn’t it. It takes a decision to suppress the anger that rises so quickly to an unwelcome event or comment.

Love does not keep a record of wrongs. When you are in a disagreement, this is the decision to NOT bring up all of the past hurts or offenses the other person has done against you. It is a continual choice to forgive.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Have you ever heard gossip that you know is not true? This is when you decide to push away the lie and gossip and stand with the truth.

This is where we need to discuss the qualities of LOVE that should ALWAYS be present. If these qualities are NOT present, then it is not love!

Love ALWAYS protects.

Love ALWAYS trusts.

Love ALWAYS hopes.

Love ALWAYS perseveres.

If you love someone, you choose to protect them, choose to trust them, choose to hope for the best, and choose to persevere through the difficult challenges.

If we put all of these into effect, than we can always count on LOVE, it will not fail us. Now how many of these are dependent on the recipient of your love?

If you answered none of them, you would be correct! Just as much as you decide to show these qualities, others must also decide to show them toward you. However, you do not need them reciprocated in order to love someone.

This means we can choose to love a complete stranger and provide a need for them. We can choose to love someone that has been rude to us.

LOVE is a choice: a choice to be committed; a choice to place ourselves in a vulnerable position with someone else. When we look at it this way and not as if we are “falling in love” we recognize if we choose to love, we can choose not to love.

Emotions come and go. I WISH I could stay happy all the time, but inevitably something will happen where I will become sad.

LOVE does not have to be as unstable as our emotions. As a matter of fact, Jesus showed how stable it really is, by loving us before we ever accepted Him as the Son of God and the One that takes away our sins. He loved us while we were denying His existence. He loved us while we were living our lives for ourselves.

Maybe this is how we are to love others. With the example Christ gave us, we can love others.

Choose to love.

This is such a big topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Shoot me an idea of another aspect of love you might want to hear about.


HONESTY

For the last several weeks, I have had little to no motivation to write about relationships. Watching the fall out of the racial tension from Ferguson, the evil activities of terrorists in the Middle East, and my own battle with my identity had almost erased my desire to encourage people toward better and meaningful relationships.

Then I was reminded about the importance one voice might have in a dark world of preconceived notions, ignorance, and prevalent deception CAN have an impact.

We can influence others with the truth about relationships. It is difficult. It is down right messy at times.

However, it can be rewarding.

Now, on to the post…

Deception, lies, and redirected verbal inventions…

Recently, I was reading about how early we as humans learn the skill of deception. It was pointed out that as young as six months old a child will come to understand that if he/she cries, then someone will come and give them attention. At first the cries are signals for food, a wet diaper, or affection.

Then, like Pavlov’s dog and the bell that became the stimulus for action, the parent responds out of routine and the child now has his/her parents wrapped around his/her finger.

At that point the battle begins for who can outsmart the other. Will the parents recognize the deceptive attempts and respond, or teach the child the importance of crying only in the right circumstances.

At a certain point children will even start to act like they were not doing something wrong when in fact they are WELL AWARE of their behavior and are setting their skill in motion. It is the child who goes toward the cookie and picks it up to eat it when the parent pops their head around the corner and catches them in the act.

The response from the parent is, “NO. Not before dinner.” The response from the child is to act like they are just looking at the cookie and gently places it back on the plate of savory sweetness.

How about the married relationship? What drives either person in this bond to lie? Perhaps it is to avoid an uncomfortable conversation; or it is to keep from having conflict. Truth be told (pun intended), if the deceptive behavior continues it is only a matter of time before the foundation of the relationship crumbles and trust is all but lost.

Have you ever heard someone say?

“Honestly…”

“To tell you the truth…”

“I cannot tell a lie…”

Why is it necessary to preface the truth with a verification of its validity? I am more inclined to think the ones who use these expressions are lying most of the time, but this one fact that spills off their tongue might be the truth.

Honesty is not a scary venture if you never do anything to place yourself in the position of hurting someone because of an action, or conversation you had with another that broke a confidence, and the list can go on and on.

Lying has become so ordinary it can be quite difficult to determine which is the true statement.

There are even games where you have to lie and hope that someone does not catch you in your lie.

What would the world be like if it were impossible to lie? There would be no need for judges. Policemen would have a much less difficult time interrogating the perpetrator of a crime. Married relationships could be more open. People might even be less inclined to do something wrong because they knew they would HAVE to tell the truth.

The Truth is (pun intended), it is not only possible to lie, but for most people it is the preferred method of communication.

One of the Ten Commandments refers to lying where it says; “You shall not bear false testimony against your neighbor.” This literally means you shall not lie about what your neighbor did, did not do, said, or did not say.

Why was it important to be honest, forthright, truthful and candid?

Lies can slowly chip away at a relationship until there is nothing left that remotely resembles a relationship. When someone is caught in a lie, whatever trust was there is eradicated by one phrase from the tongue.

I have always taught my daughters growing up there are two things their mom and I would NEVER tolerate in the home…

  1. Lying
  2. Disrespecting another individual

The reason these will not be tolerated is because they are both self-serving and because either one can destroy the relationship between two people.

Ask yourself if it is worth destroying the trust between you and a close friend or family member over one act of defiance, lack of trust, or desire to avoid a messy confrontation.

Chances are if your relationship cannot withstand an error on either party, then the relationship was not built on the solid ground of truth and authenticity.

Take a day and perform an experiment. Go through your day and become aware of whom you are talking to, and what you are saying. Take inventory of your words and conversations and take note when you tell a lie or try to deceive someone into thinking a certain way.

Chances are you will be SURPRISED at how many times you catch yourself being dishonest.

By the way, you cannot simply tag on the phrase “Just kidding” after you do so. Sooner or later others will see through the ruse and your true colors will come to the surface.

Everyday we should work toward honesty. You will be surprised at how your relationships will become less of a struggle when you simply tell the truth. Or course, the truth you tell must be mixed with love. If it is not mixed with love, you endanger the relationship as well and people will be less inclined to be your friend.

I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thank you so much for continuing to read. You can email me or respond to this post by Commenting below.