© Oxser | Dreamstime.com – Dogs Couple In Love Photo
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu
The first duty of love is to listen. Paul Tillich
The course of true love never did run smooth. William Shakespearee
Have you thought about love lately? My wedding anniversary is in June and I’ve been thinking about what it means to love as a husband. I grew up with St. Paul’s writings on love including “love never gives up.” The never giving up seemed like a pretty high standard. Today it still seems like a high standard but perhaps something to consider in our day of consumer marriages and marriages of convenience which can result in abandonment.
I’ve found that love relationships are an opportunity for me to acknowledge my weaknesses, understand them, and find a healthier way to act. I tend to overreact when I think that I deserve more –
I can feel a sense of suffering when I recognize I’m not in total control of my life.
Our partners need everything we need – affection, affirmation, security, safety and influence. Managing our weaknesses allows us to freely, joyfully and humbly give. At times our partner needs us to freely, compassionately, give sacrificially because of their need. And, we may suffer as a result.
But, love always does include suffering because we care. Suffering allows us to better understand ourselves, our life, and to develop our integrity, our moral character.
Think about whether this might be true for you. Reading, mentors, the church, and therapy help me find ways to handle my weaknesses so that I can be a kind, compassionate, loving partner. Some of these ways might work for you. Especially, consider a mentor; someone who has the love and respect of their partner and children.
Gratefully accepting the love of God, family, friends, and pets allows you and me to feel accepted and loved. Gratefulness, awareness of the magnificence of life, gives us the ability to love generously. Joy and serenity seem to flow from gratefulness and love. So, freely receive the gift of love and pass it on to another.
Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.