Love... an addiction?
There I was, walking home, holding hands with someone I loved and they loved me. We were in 5th Grade. Then, out of nowhere, my dad appeared. In his truck. Between his honking the horn and my brother literally climbing out the passenger window so his hooting-and-hollering were clear to all—somehow the magic of the moment disappeared. Maybe…just maybe… when I tried to hide behind a telephone pole… perhaps that took the magic away.
My new love did not in that moment ditch me. Praise the Lord!
I say love. We all know that at age 11 it wasn’t. What was it? I certainly had feelings for this girl.
Before we decide if this was the beginning of my addiction, sheer lust, a budding desire, or singleness of soul—let me ask you. What do you think love is? Can you describe it in one sentence?
I am about to write a little about it—but what are your thoughts?
Let me tell you what it is not for me. When I type love, I am not talking about lust. Lust, drives us, controls us, as we long for something or someone. You and I can lust after all sorts of things and people. Today lust is mostly used when talking about sex. Lust is all about me “getting something.”
Maybe, when I think about love, there are some elements of “getting something for myself.” However, when I see love it looks to me like giving more than getting.
I have sat with couples, young and old, about to get married. They all have this look, that googly-eyed look that perhaps prompted Shakespeare to write “Love is blind and lovers cannot see.” It can be fun to with them. Is that love?
I would say it is certainly an element in this thing we call love. Let me describe another scene. It is the person sitting with someone who they love. One is alive and engaged. The other distant. Captured by a disease that has taken their mind. This scene emphasizes the element of commitment.
If I go back to my handholding episode (which led to a movie (by the way)) it began with someone who actually saw me—they saw ME! And after seeing me they still chose to talk a walk with me. They were in some ways giving me value.
Now I know this is dangerous territory. To have my value tied up in the hands of another. But I do think there is something to this idea.
The challenge is if our self-worth is so low that we get all our value from someone else. Let’s say however that your self-worth is solid. Pause for a moment and think about when a relationship you were in ended, and it was not your choice. Someone who rejected you was saying “I don’t value you the way I used to.”
Now let’s just skip over the “we can still be friends” nonsense, and just ponder the rejection. It hurts.
Love for me is not a desire—certainly there are times I deeply desire my wife and she needs to beat me away with a stick.
Love for me is not a feeling—yes I have felt in love over the course of my life, but like indigestion, it passes.
Love for me is a decision—words such as commitment, loyalty, steadfast, all follow. Upstream of this decision are all sorts of things. It does start with attraction. From there courtship follows. In the end however, it is a decision.
Consider the words of old-fashioned Wedding Vows. These vows are people making promises of what they will give. When you stand before God and the person you love, you are saying I promise to always behave in a way that values you, regardless of the situation.
Love is a decision. A decision to give.