Some people find it difficult to act in love. “But I don’t feel that way - it’s just not me,” or “I would be faking to act like that when I don’t feel it.” To many, love is a selfish need that controls action, not an act that blesses others.
Many of us aren’t taught how to truly love. Raised in dysfunctional families, we desperately grasp for any tidbit of love not realizing it is meant to be given away. Only when it is given away can we fully receive the benefits of true love. Love is a selfless act.
To most of us, acting in love is not natural. A lot of times we don’t feel like it. We need to train ourselves to watch for any moment to reach out in love, especially to our spouse and children.
Let’s look at the word ‘act’. When you think of the word ‘act’ regarding the theatre, it’s a verb that means ‘pretend’. Sometimes you have to pretend that you feel a certain way.
Oh, but that sounds so fake! Shouldn’t we be ‘real’? Think about it. We pretend all the time. For example, you’re having an argument with your spouse and you are madder than a wet hen. Your phone rings, and it is a friend whom you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Your tone of voice immediately changes and you genuinely sound happy to hear from her.
“I’m doing great!” you say to her with all the sweetness and sincerity you can muster. Are you really doing great?
Joyce Meyer tells the story (I may have already used this before) of how she frequently screamed at her children. Her husband, Dave, would tell her she really should try to control it. She yelled at him, “I CAN’T control it!! Don’t you think I would if I could?”
One morning, one of the kids spills milk everywhere and Joyce starts screaming. During her ranting, she glances out the window and sees the preachers car pulling up. She opens the door and in her sweetest, sugary voice, she greets him. “Why pastor! What a pleasant surprise! How are you?” She quickly turned into a Godly saint. What an act!
Acting in love is showing love to someone even when you don’t feel like it. It is acting kind or loving when your emotions tell you to lash out. You will find that acting in love will quickly diffuse any situation that may have turned into a nasty fight.
Even more so, those acts of love will melt away bad feelings in the other person. Once they recognize your willingness to act in love even when you don’t feel like it, they will begin to imitate your actions.
You may hear the words, “I love you!” over and over, or say them yourself, but if the action isn’t there, those words are empty. Actions speak louder than words.
*Even more to come on “Love is a verb!”