How do you really feel?

Oh, I love your new dress.

I love that movie.

I love that truck.

I love that cake.

So many things to love.  Our world is filled with delightful – and delight-filled – things for us to enjoy.  But love?  At our house, we have nixed the use of the word “love” for anything that we’re not willing to sacrifice something for.  Sound like a harsh standard?  Maybe.  But, then again, maybe not.

I have recently been sharing my heart concerning honor and the lack of it, as demonstrated in our speech.  (See: A sewer by any other name)  So I must talk of my concern for the careless way we throw the term “love” about. How is it honoring for one sibling to say to another, “I love that dress you are wearing!” in the morning, followed by “I love this cake” in the afternoon and “I love you” at bedtime?

I know when we first started this, it began as almost a game for Davenna.  “We love people, not things, Burt.”  We said it enough, she would walk around telling other people that they couldn’t “lub it” when they nonchalantly spoke of something that they loved.   Some people enjoyed the challenge, some were offended.  Most people were puzzled.  To them, it was a given that the love that they felt for a new dress was certainly different from the love that they felt for their mom or best friend.

Perhaps it’s because we work with words day in and day out…perhaps it was because we were dealing with a precocious toddler who asked all kinds of questions about God and the things she was hearing from our family discussions of the Word.  Whatever the reason, it began to weigh heavily on our hearts, that for people called by God to love Him and one another, that we were certainly caught up on loving a lot of things.

There should never come a day when anyone might hear us speak, and think that we love anything as much as we love our God – or those that He has given unto us to love.  We want to make it clear that our love is reserved for things that are of the Kingdom, not of the world.

When we added mindset to our ever expanding understanding of the import of seedtime and harvest – of what we were planting in our children by allowing the unguarded use of the word love – we decided it was time to define “love” in such a way that we would be reminded of its true meaning and not be nearly so cavalier in our use.

So, after much prayer, we determined that 1 John 4 ought to be our basis of measuring what we should and should not love.  God is love and His example of love is to give something of ultimate value to demonstrate that love.  With that as our standard, we have determined that we will not love anything that we are not willing to die for – or to purchase with great sacrifice.

This means that we can love things – if we’re willing to love it unto the point of sacrificing greatly for it – say, the Kingdom of God or the Word of God.  But, for those things that we just really, really, really like – we are learning to be very specific in how we feel about it.  We may delight in it.  We may relish it.  We may enjoy it. We may fancy it. We may even really, really, really like it – but we do not love it.

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Comments
6 Responses to “How do you really feel?”
  1. tiffany says:

    I was just thinking about this very thing yesterday!!! And I couldn’t agree more. I think there are a lot of things we say that are simply laziness of speech. (the catalyst for thinking about this was a discussion at a different blog about taking the Lord’s name in vain, and then all the other interjections/exclamations we use as well). We have been given the gift of language and I think it is important that we (as we are capable) use that gift to it’s fullest.

  2. javadawn says:

    Tiffany, the Lord bless you, as you prepare to change how your girls speak! It’s HARD. The sooner you can get a grip on it and move beyond it, the easier it will be. But, even after several years of this, we still find it a challenge to not say, “Oh! I love this, that or the other thing!” V.E.R.Y. hard some days.

    Well done you for choosing to start now! 🙂

  3. javadawn says:

    Tiffany – I am struck again this morning with what purposefulness Christ employed with HIS speech. I’m certain that when He was sharing some of those parables, He really wanted to just say, “You IDIOTS! how much plainer can I make it for you?” 😉 (Okay, so that would be me.) But, none the less, in John 14 – 17, He is very clear that He is speaking nothing but what His Father in heaven would have Him say. That really impacted me!

    I think too of Matt 12:36 – we will give account for every idle word. I used to think that meant meaningless babble – but that doesn’t match the heart of Father – so I looked up the word “idle” – it means not working, without labor,of things from which no profit is derived, although they can and ought to be productive; as of fields, trees, gold and silver. OH. MY.

    THAT is not how I saw that verse!! ESPECIALLY since other translations use the word “careless” instead of KJV’s idle! Careless?!! Doesn’t match up well at all! It gives a totally wrong understanding of what the Scripture is saying there.

    Have I mentioned this morning that I LOVE God’s Word?! 🙂

  4. tiffany says:

    Here’s something I was pondering yesterday in regards to this and children. I totally agree with the loving people and not things, and the heart attitude that comes from. But there are some things my girls (especially) “love” that comes from a heart attitude I also want to encourage. Namely her two baby dolls. She wants to take care of them and love them and be their mommy. Any wisdom on this? Have you seen this in your girls? I love (there is that word again) her desire to be mothering, but at the same time it is a thing not a people. (I am still very much in the pondering stage of this, not the implementing stage)

  5. javadawn says:

    Tiff, I have come over here to answer you about 10 times. I don’t have an answer for you. I understand the desire to foster love for mothering in our daughters, but on the same token, I know the little Pharisee that lives in this house (I know the big one, too!) and she has no hesitation to consider her doll HER DOLL – one which she is willing to argue and fight with her siblings over. (Should that happen, her baby is headed to the GiveAway Box!)

    SO, here at the end of my day – after much wrestling, here is my brilliant answer – seek Father and know that He will give you the wisdom you need.

    Yep, that’s my .02 worth. (You should ask for a refund, because you already knew that!!) 🙂

  6. tiffany says:

    *lol* dawn, no refund necessary. Yes I knew that, but it is always good to hear it again. 🙂

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