Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Love Is a Verb by Dr. Stephen Covey

At one seminar where I was speaking on the concept of proactivity, a man came up and said, "Stephen, I like what you're saying, but every situation is different. Look at my marriage. I'm really worried. My wife and I just don't have the same feelings (-: dah tak dah “rasa”lah tu) for each other that we used to have. I guess I just don't love her anymore, and she doesn't love me. What can I do?"

"The feeling isn't there anymore?" I inquired.

"That's right," he reaffirmed. "And we have three children we're really concerned about. What do you suggest?"

"Love her," I replied.

I told you, the feeling just isn't there anymore."

"Love her."

"You don't understand. The feeling of love just isn't there."

"Then love her. If the feeling isn't there, that's a good reason to love her."

"But how do you love when you don't love?"

"My friend, love is a verb. Love the feeling is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?"

Hollywood has scripted us to believe that love is a feeling. Relationships are disposable. Marriage and family are matters of contract and convenience rather than commitment and integrity. But these messages give a highly distorted picture of reality… and they get many, many people off track.

Just look around you maybe even in your own family. Anyone who has been through a divorce, an estrangement from a companion, a child, or a parent, or a broken relationship of any kind can tell you that there is deep pain, deep scarring. And there are long lasting consequences that Hollywood usually doesn't tell you about. So while it may seem “easier" in the short run, it is often far more difficult and more painful in the long run to break up a relationship than to heal it particularly when children are involved.

1 have one friend who uses his gifts to make a powerful proactive choice every day. When he comes home from work, he sits in his car in the driveway and pushes his pause button. He literally puts his life on pause. He gets perspective. He thinks about the members of his family and what they are doing inside the walls of his house. He considers what kind of environment and feeling he wants to help create when he goes inside. He says to himself, "My family is the most enjoyable, the most pleasant, the most important part of my life. I'm going to go into my home and feel and communicate my love for them."

When he walks through the door, instead of finding fault and becoming critical or simply going off by himself to relax and take care of his own needs, he might dramatically shout, "I'm home! Please try to restrain yourselves from hugging and kissing me!" Then he might go around the house and interact in positive ways with every family member kissing his wife, rolling around on the floor with the kids, or doing whatever it takes to create pleasantness and happiness, whether it's taking out the garbage or helping with a project or just listening. In doing these things he rises above his fatigue, his challenges or setbacks at work, his tendencies to find fault or be disappointed in what he may find at home. He becomes a conscious, positive creative force in the family culture.

Think about the proactive choice this man is making and the impact it has on his family! Think about the relationships he's building and about how that is going to impact every dimension of family life for years, perhaps for generations to come!

Any successful marriage, any successful family takes work. It's not a matter of accident, it's a matter of achievement. It takes effort and sacrifice. It takes knowing that "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, as long as you live" love is a verb.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Selepas membaca dan mengamati ana semakin mengerti anda sedang membina dan mencari kejernihan hidup hakiki. Dan anda telah melangkah dan bergerak kedistinasi berikut dengan penuh tenagadan keyakinan.DOA dari ana semoga anda di berkati perjalanan ini.
Sekadar perkongsian pengelaman sempena bulan maulid 2006.Sepanjang perjalanan bersama TUAN GURU dalam menajamicinta pada rasul timbul beberapa pertanyaan..
1) sejauh mana aku mengenali Rasullallah
2)Sebanyak mana hadis yang telah ku amati
3)Sebanyak mana sunnahnya yang telah ku amalkan.
4)Berapa banyak selawat ku ucapkan setiap hari;
dari seorang perantau