08 June, 2009

Love at 10, 25, 70...

Jamie Star posted a blog about love at ten verses love at twenty-something.

The love at ten was unattainable - we are blind to seeing the one we "love" does not love us back. We equate love as a child to someone who is idealized because we cannot see the flaws that would hinder and harm us.

As we get older we (hopefully) realize love is more that adoration, that it require reciprocation, sacrifice, and it is more than just butterflies and happy feelings.

We are loving until we become cynical. We are open until we become wounded. We trust until we are told (taught) not too. It hurts too much, it takes too much, past pain is too overwhelming and fresh... So we become closed off while longing to be loved.

Love is often misused for infatuation or lust. In our pain (or selfishness) we look for a love that is all about us - our safety, our security, our preservation, our sense of joy and happiness. We love someone until it hurts - not in the sacrificial way, but in the "this is uncomfortable, you're not what I thought you were, etc. I'm leaving" way.

Not to start a tirate, but we have lost love in this country. Let's go back to 1 Corinthians - love is not about us, but about serving another. Through thick and thin, pain and disappointment, joy and bitter fights, we love another. And if we buy into the chick flick crap that a) you will know in one magical moment the one who is right for you or b) struggle in a relationship means it is a bad relationship - then we will always leave because the grass is always greener and there will always be someone else who we can idealize in our head, not see their flaws and feel we would be better with (until they become human to us so we just move on again).

love is a choice.

How do you love sacrificially? I don't know. I don't know how you weather day in and day out with someone. I don't know how you go home to the one person who makes you totally livid at the moment.

But you do.

You go home, you sit at dinner, you talk things out... you serve the other person. The thing about most divorces or affairs or prolonged conflict in a relationship is that, at it's core, it is self-centered. I read something once talking about reconciliation - and it went through the steps of genocide - and then it said that often in marriage some of these steps are repeated. You retreat to your opposing sides and stop seeing your spouse as human. They are just X trait that drives you crazy, you stop seeing them as someone you can talk to and something you just need to get rid off. And like any culture that has to walk back from genocide (seeing the other side as human, breaking stereotypes, stopping the "us" and "them" mentality, admitting wrong, facing consequences, rebuilding trust, etc.) marriages have to too. And that starts by making it not about you.

I have seen some really good relationships. My parents have been married for 40 years, my grandparents were married for 51. Some of my friends have relationships that I keep before me as examples of what I want. I will not settle for less than that...

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves." -- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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