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.