Saturday, January 15, 2011

All You Need is Love

Michelle's take on it...

I’ll never forget one Sunday when the pastor of our church broke out singing a Beatles song in the middle of his sermon.  “All You Need is Love, all you need is love! It’s easy, Love is all you need.”  It was a sermon on Love, not his ability to sing thank goodness.

Being a second generation Beatles fan I can easily get a Beatle’s song stuck in my head.  That song ran through my brain for the next several weeks.  Then, as if that was not enough, everywhere I turned a quote or a concept about Love slapped me across the face.  Ya think maybe I was getting a lesson on Love?  I guess God is a Beatles fan too… All You Need is Love!

In the book THE ULTIMATE GIFT Jim Stovall writes this:
 “Some people are born into wonderful families.  Others have to find or create them.  Being a member of a family is a priceless privilege which costs nothing but love.”

Awe, how sweet!  It cost nothing but love.  All You Need is Love!

In the book THE LITTLE THINGS ARE THE BIG THINGS, Lorle Campos writes this:
“We all crave being loved and never outgrow the need to know we matter to someone else…. Fun facts about Love:  Our bodies react to love and affection by releasing oxytocin, which lowers levels of stress hormones and reduces blood pressure, improves mood, increases tolerance for pain, and speeds up the healing process.  More effective than most medicines you can get at the drugstore.  Even feeling gratitude or watching others do loving things triggers the release of Oxytocin.”

Oh, so it works better then most medicines!  I’m all for that!  Forget the prescriptions. All You Need is Love!

I heard Chelsea Cameron (yes, wife to that late 80’s / early 90% teen heart throb Kirk Cameron) once ask:
“Did you know that LOVE can cover a multitude of mistakes?  Love your children and they will say, ‘My mom didn’t get everything right, but she did loved me!’”

If my two happen to be saying that at the time of my funeral, I hope the song being played in the background is by the Beatles. All You Need is Love.

What’s more, it just happens to be a command from God, you know… the one in charge of like, everything!
1 John 3:18
“Dear children, don’t just talk about love.  Put your love into action.  Then it will truly be love.
John 13:34 and 35
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Sing along with me people!   All You Need is Love…. All You Need is Love…. It’s easyyyyyy!!!”

WAIT!  HOLD ON!  Easy?  No way!  Who said it is easy?????  Oh yea, it’s easy to fall in love when all those sexy hormones are at play. Gerrrrrrr!  But are hormones the bases for love?  Is it a feeling or an action?  Can love be “turned on” like a light switch and “turned off” when the bulb burns out?  Is it a noun or is it a verb? 

For the really tough questions I like to go back to my roots.  The Movies!  Let’s find the answer from my favorite movie of all times, THE PRINCESS BRIDE.  The Impressive Clergyman has the answer…

The Impressive ClergymanMawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…  And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv.
Maybe not The Impressive Clergyman.  But Inigo Montoya knows the answer…
Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… Never mind!  Not Inigo.  But Westley!  Oh yes, he must have the answer…
Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well... you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

Sweet, but I don’t think it’s the answer to my question.  Buttercup…
Buttercup: I will never love again.

We need a more reliable source and better roots!  Enter The Great Love Chapter in the Bible; First Corinthians 13:1-8.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. “

Wait wait wait!  Pause the quote.  Here it is, the answers we are looking for, but I think we need the mommy michelle translation for it to really hit home.  Said another way…

If I give my child direction, answer my husband’s question or call everyone to dinner but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of folding clothes and can fix broken toys and place band aids on boo boo’s, and if I have faith that can put a colicky baby to sleep, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all my time, energy and money to diapers, feedings and walks to the parks, and surrender my body to sagging boobs, grey hairs and lack of manicures, but have not love, I gain nothing.

OK, un-pause the quote.  First Corinthians 13:1-8 continued…

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

And the answer is (drum roll please)… Love is an action, a verb and something that can not be burned out because it never fails!

Time for a pop quiz.  See this is educational as well!
Question 1: Michelle knows that All You Need is Love.  So she tells her husband that she loves him but then tears him down with her words and actions.  Is she…
A) Loving him?  B) Being a hypocrite?
Question 2: Fill in the blank.  Love __________ protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.
A)    Always  B) Sometimes- when things are going well / when kids behave
Question 3: If Michelle’s deeds are done with the wrong heart, what is nothing?
A) The deed, she is still A-Okay   B) She is nothing
Question 4: Fill in the blank.  All You Need is ___________.
A) Shopping   B) Love
How do you think you did?  (Answers B, A, B, B) 

I know that it is a strange concept to think that our love feelings do not determine or define our love for a person; rather it’s our love actions.  I’m not saying the feelings are no good.  Feelings are often strengthened and deepened only after the actions.  It seems ironic to act loving before anyone else does.  To return a curse with a blessing.  To be the first link in a new love chain.  Not to wait to receive before you give.  It seems strange and against our nature.

Well it is.  It’s against our sinful nature.  But when we go for it out of obedience it’s like we are putting off our old self and putting on a new one.  Being dead to our old ways and alive in God’s ways.  And God’s ways are always best for us, always for our good!  He promises that we will reap what we sow.  And when it seems too hard to love that certain unlovable person, know that your actions are sweet smelling sacrifices to Him.  It is not unseen and He will bless you for your obedience. Because All You Need is Love!

I don’t want to leave you with mere talk and a Beatles song stuck in your head.  So let’s do it! 

Michelle’s 3 Action Steps
(This is a workshop as well)

1. Ask yourself, “What would I do right now for so-and-so if I were feeling madly in love with him/her?”  And then do it.  Not just once, but again and again.  

2. Go Shopping!  Purchase the book THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES.  Find out how your loved one best receives and gives Love.  We all gravitate towards one or two of these “languages”. 

3. Do michelle's All You Need is Love activity. Put love into action right now in your very own home. Grab some post-its.  Put them around your home for your family to find.  On your Husband’s steering wheal: “you are sexy”, on your daughter’s pillow, “Thanks for doing the dishes,” In your son’s lunch, “SMILE!”  On your husband’s toilet “Have fun!”   Daughter’s homework folder “redeem this for one ice cream cone”.  Son’s night stand “You make me smile, let’s play cars together”.  And on your husband’s TV watching chair, “Meet me in our room at 10 PM, clothing optional”.  You will be surprised to see how easy it is to brighten up someone’s day with just a little bit of loving kindness. 

And finally, don’t give up!  Our view is limited, God’s view is eternal!  Is it really so bad to have a song stuck in your head that reminds you that All You Need is LOVE!  Everybody now…

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