I finally got to see the end of the movie ‘The Way We Were.’ You know – Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford? For those who haven’t seen it, it’s supposed to be a love story. However, despite being completely in love the two characters can’t seem to get it together. Needless to say – it wasn’t a happy ending.
But it got me thinking about our perception of love. I think that Cinderella got it wrong, folk. She didn’t live happily ever after. When the ball was over she had to go home and work hard on her relationship. The Prince was used to having everything done for him, and she was a real doer. They were opposites. Don’t you think that would have put a bit of strain on the relationship?
Perhaps we throw the word ‘love’ around far too easily. ‘I love that new show on television.’ ‘I love my new shoes.’ ‘I love chocolate.’ ‘I love the football.’ ‘I love Hugh Jackman.’ (Okay – maybe we’ll overlook this one – who doesn’t love Hugh Jackman?)
My point is that love isn’t actually the sum of all the things we like. Love is what we do. And for love to work it has to be coupled with all the other really, really ‘hard stuff’, like patience, forgiveness, compromise, trust, honesty, humility, perseverance, kindness, faithfulness, sacrifice, ECT, ECT.
Jesus gave us a new commandment – ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ I think it is the hardest commandment for humanity. Not just because we are flawed, but because He loved us unconditionally. He was every challenging emotion rolled into one word – Love. He didn’t just say it; He did it. He showed every bit of the ‘hard stuff’ in action.
So I guess for love to work we must also commit to the ‘hard stuff.’ Otherwise, just like Katie and Hubble (Barbara and Robert) we’ll eventually drift apart. Don’t let your memories be of ‘the way we were.’ Let them be of ‘the way we are together.’ Be prepared to accept that Love isn’t a fairytale. It’s the sum of all that ‘hard stuff.’