Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's Love Got to Do ... Got to do With it

What's love but a second hand emotion? and the music continues....

Now that I have that song stuck in your head today (which may or may not prove to be helpful) I want to apply it to adoption.

If love, as Tina Turner suggests, is simply an emotion, then love really has nothing to do with it at all. If you were completely honest, you might admit that you don't FEEL loving feelings towards your child or children 24/7/365. In fact, there may be days where the emotions that you have are far from loving....

But, if love is a decision and a commitment, then it has everything to do with adoption. In fact, it is at the heart of all that we do as adoptive parents. It's that claiming, that CHOOSING to love even when we don't feel like it or don't want to or when the person we are choosing to love doesn't "deserve it."

I have firmly believed for as long as I could comprehend the concept, that love is a decision. In my book "A Glimpse of God's Heart, How Trying to Change my Kids Changed Me" I talked about how much I learned about this unconditional claiming decision-type love by adopting my kids.

Unconditional decision-type love is an amazing gift that we can give our kids. But sometimes we are stretched and stretched to the point that we just don't think we can do it any more. Their behaviors and the unloving ways in which they treat us, lead us to have VERY unloving feelings. But does that mean we don't love them? Not if love is a decision.

So, Have you Lost that Loving Feeling? And if so, what can you do about it?

CS Lewis has the answer:

“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”

I have found this to be true so many times. The day that I feel like I love my children isn't the same day that I choose to love them. Sometimes the feeling has come much later and often it comes and goes. But I find that when I am behaving as if I loved someone, the feelings follow.

If you've never tried this, I recommend it. You may be surprised at how the "glow" you feel when you love someone comes over you as you practice the discipline of behaving in loving ways. It's almost miraculous. Your kids may never notice the difference, but I can guarantee it will change YOU.

1 comment:

Mightyheidi said...

You don't fall in love with someone--you fall in like. You are naturally attracted to them, or to pizza, or to opera music--it really isn't a choice.

You CHOOSE to love someone because we are called in the greatest commandment to love one another. We are never told it will be easy, but it is the right thing to do.

This goes hand in hand with your recent comment on "70 X 7" forgiveness. We can choose to forgive--we are not commanded to forget (although it would be nice!). We can forgive and not place ourselves in that situation again, but if it comes up, we should forgive again.

In our modern, feel-good-about-myself, the "free to be you and me" generation, we have learned to choose ourselves first, to preserve our rights first, and THEN to love others if they are worthy. NOT what Jesus meant at all.

So C.S. Lewis is spot-on (again!)--you might just as well ACT loving since if you want to follow the commandment to love, you will BE loving. And if you do it often enough, it does become second nature.

Lest anyone think I am lecturing, I tell myself this daily! I also like to read/pray the "Litany of Humility" because that reminds me of how truly small I am in the scheme of the world, and how I need to not build myself up to believe I no longer have to forgive, or love.