"Stop talking about love. Every (idiot) in the world says he loves somebody. It means nothing. It still doesn't mean anything. What you feel only matters to you. It's what you do to the people you say you love, that's what matters. It's the only thing that counts." -The Last Kiss
I remember watching that movie and hearing that quote. It hit me like a lightning bolt. I heard it at a time where I still had alot to learn about love. I heard it and it made me IMMEDIATELY think of the people in my life who said they loved me, but didn't live that love out. The people who thought love was a feeling. I spent exactly zero minutes thinking about how I was guilty of that.
That's what I want you to do with this article. We all know other people who have flaws, who make mistake after mistake. I bet we all know someone who could be better about living love out--not just professing it. But, just for today, just while reading this article, I want you to turn it inward. I want you to look at how YOU could improve. Look at how YOU can live love out.
Marvin and I have been married for a short 4 years. We're still in the butterflies stage. I still love him in feeling. He is still my favorite person. I still enjoy spending time with him. I love kissing him. I love being around him. I always like him. I think he's cute and funny and great and I can't get enough. People say that it won't always be that way. I have to take their word for it because they are wiser than I am. I hope they're wrong, but I'm preparing as if they're right.
One of my biggest fears is that when all the sparkle and confetti fades, when I stop LIKING Marvin so dang much I'll be too weak to LOVE him in action. I pray for that now. We pray for that together--that we'll be strong enough to work together when it's the last thing we want to do.
Children help you exercise your love muscle because they're easy to love some of the time. They're cute and cuddly and they look just like your spouse and they have all the cute quirks that you enjoy and they're funny. They love you and want to hug you. Some of the time it's difficult. Some of the time they don't listen no matter what you do. Some of the time you just want 30 minutes to yourself and they just want more and more and more of you. I can't imagine how hard it must be to LOVE in action a bratty teenage girl who thinks you're just about the dumbest human being alive because she's 14 and she knows it ALL, duh, just like we all knew it ALL at 14.
Love is not wanting to color, but doing it anyway. Love is being exhausted and wanting to stay home alone, but inviting someone who feels isolated over anyway. Love is wanting to give someone a piece of your mind, telling them how wrong they are, but being kind instead. Love is feeling frustrated inside, but sharing a smile outwardly. Love is accepting people for who they are and where they are, even though you wish it could be different.
Love isn't a feeling, guys. Maybe there's a time when love and feelings coexist (like right now between Marvin and I), but that's not what love is. Love is DOING. Love is GIVING. Love is ACTION-- when the last thing you want to do is act.
St. Clare of Assisi said: "Love that cannot suffer is not worthy of that name."
I leave you with the following most famous scripture passage, but I ask you to look at it with different eyes. Look at it like it's the first time you're seeing it, and ask yourself: are you love? is the way you're treating others love? do your actions say love?
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7