Archives For love

A few days ago a Focus on the Family e-mail landed in my inbox.  I don’t always open these types of e-mails, there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything I want and read every e-mail too!  This morning while trying to jump start my day with a some fresh coffee from a Bodum French Press I opened it.  Inside I found a link to  Are We Falling Out of Love? by Glenn Lutjens.  An important part of any good story is the “hook” the writer uses to suck us into the story — and he got me with this one!

You remember the sleepless nights and the lightheadedness you experienced after seeing her big, beautiful smile light up a room. You recall when just the thought of him holding your hand caused shortness of breath and a queasy stomach.
In some countries, they call that malaria.
In our culture, we call it romance.
In fact, years ago two doctors actually presented at the Congress of Internal Medicine in Wiesbaden, Germany, the idea that lieberskimmer – love sickness – is a definite medical ailment replete with physical symptoms.

That’s great, isn’t it!  And given that I had just linked to another story on love, I had to read the rest of this one too!  A bit later Glenn writes:

Romance is only one of the types of love important in marriage. If you think of marriage as a house, four kinds of love are like the components that make the house complete.

All four loves reflect God’s design for your marriage. But in Western culture, romantic love has been exalted above the others. 

The four types of love he is referring to are as follows:

1) The foundation of the house represents unconditional love.
2) The frame of the house signifies companionship love.
3) Once the foundation and frame of the house are in place, the roof – or romantic love – has something to rest upon.
4) Finally, the furniture brought into the completed house symbolizes sexual love after the marriage has occurred.

He defines each of these more in his article and I would encourage you to read the whole thing.  It won’t take long, he is brief and too the point. After you give it a read, why don’t you give the foundation of your marriage an inspection?  How are you doing in fulfilling your part of unconditional love? 

Love.  Everyone is in love with love, but I fear that few really know or understand what love really is.  And few are those who are able to fully demonstrate the depths of deep, profound love.  How does one explain true love to a culture raised on a Hollywood version of love?  A culture that imbibes much of their world view from such renowned sources as People Magazine?  Jesus was masterful at telling stories to arrest his audience’s attention and causing them to think.  Stories are wonderful vehicles to touch our soul, our emotions and challenge our worldview. 

Today I want to share with you a story that demonstrates a deep, genuine, faithful, sacrificial, giving love.  It’s a story I read over at the Internet Monk.  And its a story that challenges me with the question my cousin posed to me a while back.  Do I love God and love others for my sake?  Or for their sake? 

Marge died today.
A petite, pretty octogenarian, she had been wandering in the world of Alzheimer dementia for many years. I’ve known her for a few of those years, at least I’ve known the lady who rarely sat still, who moved continually from one place to another, looking out the windows, fluffing and straightening the pillows, and then sitting down for a moment, her knees rising and falling as her legs bounced incessantly. Then it was up again, muttering this or that, moving like a tumbleweed blowing across the floor, rarely at rest, moved by some mysterious wind.
“Pleasantly confused” we’d write in our notes, because she’d smile, say a few words that may or may not make sense, give you her hand, and then rise to move about some more.
But today there she lay, still as can be.
Joe, her husband, in the immediate aftermath of her death, seemed a bit lost without her to chase around. His carefully maintained routine had now reached its end.
Joe is also a mover, an actor, a doer. He took care of Marge for a long time. Though he has twenty five years on me I never thought of him as being “old.” He had been an athlete in high school and college, still has most of his hair, and he moves energetically around the house. The military had given him a lot — discipline, plain and direct speech, self-confidence and good habits, a profound sense of duty, and impeccable organization skills. He is a smart man too. Joe had worked for the phone company and he is a master at diagnosing and fixing problems. With all his gifts, he still has an easy, “aw shucks” down-home Hoosier personality. He’s always smiling, quick with a story or a saying, or a “can I get you something?” offer. Then he’s off on the move again, serving his wife by keeping the routine going.
Most of all, he loves Marge.
I don’t mean he is sentimental or romantic. He may be, but I have not seen that side of him. What I have witnessed is the essence of what I take love to be: being with and for another for that person’s benefit.

Read the rest of this moving story of love here.