In my capacity as a high school teacher, I often watch kids sorting out their first serious relationships. Sometimes what I hear alarms me, so I will do a class discussion on love. My main question is, “What does love LOOK like?” because girls will say, “but he LOVES me!” while they are listening to abusive language and experiencing controlling and abusive behavior. It seems that they think the behaviors are acceptable if someone professes that he loves them. My goal is to get them to embrace a new concept: love is shown by an action that is kind, gentle and supportive. The words are meaningless without the appropriate actions.
Once a girl looked at me as if I had three heads while she announced, “Love isn’t an action, it’s a feeling!!!” She would not, or could not, get her head around the idea that love reveals itself through behavior. Saying you love someone isn’t an excuse for a jealous tantrum, controlling them, or beating them, either with words or fists.
Ali McGraw was just interviewed by Oprah and they discussed the infamous line from Love Story, “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” Ali says it makes no sense. Of course not! It never did! Love means saying sorry and more, it means SHOWING you’re sorry, by eliminating that behavior from your life.
I remember those adorable “Love is…” cartoons in the 70s. Kim Casali debuted the strip when she was a newlywed. One of the most famous ones was, “Love is… saying you’re sorry.” The strip is still running, although both Kim and her love are written now by their son. Check out today’s.
I’m thinking that in my life,
“Love is…working toward a common goal.”
“Love is…walking hand in hand.”
“Love is…doing the laundry.”
“Love is… going out in the dead of night to buy your love cough medicine.”
“Love is… sitting in a car for 9 hours just to make sure he doesn’t fall asleep driving home.”
So what do YOU think LOVE IS… ?