Sunday Post ~ "The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain; to show them we love them not when we feel like it, but when they do." -- Nan Fairbrother
A Sermonette for Valentine's Day
I found the quote here, and it made me think of all sorts of things about how we love, and how badly we love sometimes. I saw a cartoon with a man yelling out the door to his departing love, as she carried her suitcases to the car. He was saying, "You'll never find anyone who loves you more than I do!" And her response was, "I don't want someone who loves me MORE! I want someone who loves me BETTER!" Most of us, until we learn differently, try to give love in the way that we would want to receive it. If we would like lots of physical affection, that's what we try to give. If we want someone to send us cards and gifts, we do that to our beloved, both to show our love and to show them how it's done. If we want our loved one to love us by doing practical things for us, we do things for them; and we might keep score and pout if they don't respond in kind. It should all make sense; we're just following the Golden Rule, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. It's a really good rule. An excellent rule. But it's not the best for a love relationship.
Someone (I couldn't confirm the originator) has coined the term, "The Platinum Rule," which is a little different: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. It's more difficult to love someone by the platinum rule. It requires that we learn something about them, and it often requires that we extend ourselves in ways that don't come easily to us. But they are the ways in which our loved ones receive love best, even if they're not the ways in which we give love most easily or naturally. There's a really good book about these concepts, called "The Five Love Languages." I know it's a good book because I've read it and it's helped me, and because of that other criteria by which I can always tell a good book -- it's the one my marriage counseling clients have most often kept when I've "loaned" it to them :)
Today's scripture is "The Love Chapter," which you've heard if you've ever been to any flavor of a Christian wedding:
I Corinthians 13
Although it's often read at weddings, it was not written to couples, but to everyone seeking to follow Christ. A challenge to you: to see what a good lover you are, of your partner, your family, your friends and neighbors, put your name in place of the words "love," and "it" in verses 4-7 of that chapter, and see how true it is. (Oy, do I have a ways to go!)
NOTE: I was late today because my home internet is dead. Jif brought me in to his office to post this, so y'all wouldn't worry. The cable guy is coming out on Tuesday night, hopefully I'll be back online then. I may have internet access here and there at work early in the week, but mostly I'll be in communicado until my home access is fixed. Yikes! See you soon! :)