Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Isn't it always awkward when someone tells you that they love you, and you're not too convinced they do? The instant the last syllable slithers off the tip of their tongue, you can imagine yourself singing. "Liar! You're a liar! You are Lyiiinnnnnnnnng!" Don't lie about love, homie! Because once someone says they love you, it's only reasonable to expect behaviors that support that claim. Unfortunately, that is not often the case. I'd venture to say we hear love far more often than we actually see it.
For instance, have you thought about the irony of calling certain songs "Love Songs." These are the songs that people usually play when they just want to have sex. In many, and probably most cases, they don't love the other person. In fact, the feelings present in that moment have very little to do with their present company. Actually, it's likely they both feel the same way about a few other people, but it just so happens that the others are not available right now. We have always tried to label things love that barely even measure up to the standards of the shadow true love casts on a gloomy day. But in recent years we have put our efforts into redefining love into hyperdrive. I'm talking STR NOS - Fast and Furious Pt 9! I know we haven’t gotten that far in the franchise yet but we will, just wait. Now getting back on topic, the latest trend in our world is raunchy celebrities being authorized to define purity. Their latest creation is "Love is acceptance". Period? Really?
Have you ever taken the time to think that is far too generalized to ever be reasonably practiced?
Saying, love, is acceptance is like saying a car is "reverse." No, a car is no more "reverse" than it is "drive" or it is "honk." Moving in reverse is something that cars do, but they also have many other functions. Reverse plays a critical role, especially considering many of us go in that direction to pull out of our driveways every morning before we can do anything else. However, after we are finished reversing, it is even more vital to move forward. The same is true about acceptance. It is a great first step, but there are some sequential steps that should follow. Love can cause me to accept that my child has an unusually difficult time reading, but what good would it be if I stopped there in the name of acceptance. The greater love would be seen in me sacrificing my leisure time, sleep, and maybe even finances to ensure my child's reading ability improves. Mere acceptance wouldn't be love; it's more accurately described as neglect.
1 John 3:16 gives us a more accurate way to recognize love. It says, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
Love is best seen in our willingness to sacrifice. People naturally sacrifice for the things they love. A husband cares for and sacrifices for his wife. Everyone around him will equate it to love, even without ever hearing him utter the words, "I love you." The same applies to the sacrifices parents make for children and if those sacrifices are not present it is likely that parent will lose their parental rights.
What good would it do your drug addicted sister for you only to accept that she is on drugs, if not after the acceptance you are willing to help her walk out of the cold clutches of addiction? Defining love as mere acceptance is a faulty idea that stands for about 3 seconds under the weight of reality. Reality! What a novel concept, but we better be careful before we find ourselves attempting to redefine that as well.