The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Love is...

Love is…

I know that many of you have seen the cute little cartoons that say something like…
Love is…sharing your chocolate with your sweetheart.
Love is…a smile from someone you care about.
Love is…a cup of soup when you’re sick.

If I do much more I might get sick. This is not the “Love is…” cartoon because I didn’t want to get involved with copyright infringements.

I heard the other day someone say that love is one of the greatest emotions of all. Most people believe this even though it is a highly inaccurate statement. Love is not an emotion at all. Love is a choice and an action, a verb. Infatuation is an emotion. You either choose to love someone or you don’t. Genuine love is never based on “what I can get” or “how you make me feel” because this is always based on what they can do for you. This is infatuation or lust. The actual proof of real love is loving the unlovable. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them.” Luke 6:32

If you are basing your love for someone based on how they make you feel, then this is not about you loving them as much as you loving yourself. This is selfishness. They make YOU feel good. Most people get married because the other person makes them feel good. They are basing this on emotions and selfishness. Eventually these emotions play out then they say, “I just don’t love you anymore.” This is nothing more than stimulus reaction. In other words, if you push the red button you get hot and if you push the blue you get cold. If I base what I do according to what someone does for me, then I’m giving them control of me. It is not natural for us to love our enemies and we definitely need help. Even though we should love God, it is not natural for us to do so. “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, (sister, husband, wife, mother, father, ex, stranger, enemy) he is a liar.” 1 John 4:19,20

Don’t get me wrong because I know I enjoy the feelings when someone loves me. It’s very natural to respond to those feelings. We cannot go around treating people anyway we want and say, “Well, they’re supposed to love me anyway no matter what.” It’s the same thing as being offensive to everyone and saying, “Well, they just need to forgive me.” I know someone who did this. This would release us from our responsibilities and help us to justify our wrong behaviors. What I would caution myself and anyone else is not to develop an “I deserve it mentality.” I think gratitude would be more appropriate.

I would think that all of us stood before a preacher while he said, “Love each other during sickness as well as health, for better or for worse, richer or poorer and forsaking all others until death do you part.” Some think these really aren’t vows to God, they are just suggestions.

• How many men or women split when they discover their mate has a terminal illness?
• When you seemed to have gotten the worse and not the better, do/did you still love them?
• I know several that found the next Mr./Mrs. Right when the present spouse didn’t produce the income they had hope for.
• Infidelity has become as common as the cold. Once again we’re looking for someone to make me feel that special way.
• Death do us part is definitely outdated. Should we change it to divorce to us part?

If we are looking for someone to make us feel that oogly googly feeling inside, then we are not looking for love, we are looking for emotional stimulus. If we are constantly looking for this, then we could be referred to as a narcissist.

What I am trying to say is that we need to just to call it like it is. Don’t feel guilty. Just accept the truth instead of trying to rewrite the truth.

Here is a good definition of Real Love: Love is… when you want the best for someone even if it’s your enemy and even if it means that it hurts you to show it. This could best be demonstrated with the crucifixion of Jesus. Even though mankind turned their backs on Him, He loved us so much that He didn’t give into the fear or pain and continued to love us all the way to the cross.

Would you allow your adult child go to jail even though it ripped your heart out, but hopefully it would teach them responsibility. I have heard many people say, “I just can’t spank my child because I cannot bear to hurt them.” The truth is, “I care more about myself and how it makes me feel to teach my own children.” Here’s another one. “I can’t tell my husband or wife how I feel because it might hurt their feelings.” The truth is, “I don’t like confrontation so I’m just going to bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away.”

Love isn’t…Doing things for others just to make you feel good.
Love isn’t…Giving to others to make you feel good.
Love isn’t…Giving your children anything or everything they want to make you feel good. If you give them what they want to shut them up, then you are doing it for you.
Love isn’t…Making someone love you.

We are only responsible to love others. We are not responsible to make them feel it or accept it. If you have required someone to make you feel loved be it either your husband, wife or children, then you are placing a responsibility on them that they or no one else can fill and you are destined for a miserable life.

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