Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Love - A Study in Grammar

One of my favorite pastors is Andy Stanley. He has a knack of taking something that at first appears theologically complex and making it incredibly understandable and extremely practical. In his recent DVD series “Staying in Love” he goes after why marriages, on the whole, are not more successful, as he explores the difference between “falling in love” and “staying in love”.


He says, “It is easy to fall in love – all you need is a pulse.” We fall in love with characters in a book, with the local weather girl we see on TV, with the guy on the afternoon soap, or with the hat check person at the local restaurant. (Who checks a hat these days anyway?) Personally I have had a love affair with chocolate but let me stay on topic.

If you look up love in the dictionary the primary use of the word is as a noun. It can mean to have “an intense affection for, a feeling or attraction to, or an enthusiasm or fondness for”. In John13:34 Jesus commanded us to “love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus used the word as an action verb. And therein lays a gap that you could drive a tractor trailer through.

It is next to impossible to sustain the feeling of love over the long haul. Feelings may start out as the engine of the train of love but they are soon relegated to the position of the caboose.




However, when love is an action verb the implications are endless. This means I put you ahead of me, your needs ahead of my needs, and your deal ahead of my deal – well I think you get the point. Each day I make a conscious decision that I will find a way of expressing my love for my husband/wife. It is learning in what ways your spouse wants you to express love AND remembering that it is a dynamic process, i.e. it may change over time. It can be as simple as picking up one’s dirty clothes, a rose once a month, an e-card saying I love you, a hug, etc.

Staying in love can only happen when you treat love as an action verb.

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