So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of.
I'm reading a book called The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm. It's a book that one of my professors recommended in class that I'm just now getting around to reading. Fromm makes some interesting points about society's view of love. He states that though we are usually seek love everywhere (endless movies about love- AKA "chick flicks," romantic novels, dating websites, sappy love songs, etc.), hardly anyone thinks that there is anything that needs to be learned about love.
He said we have that belief for three reasons:
- We assume that love is an object (or a thing) and not an ability.
- We confuse the initial experience of "falling" in love, and the permanent state of "being" in love.
- We worry more about being loved than showing love.
Obviously, the love here is not the love that we are capable of. But all too often, we get ourselves into trouble by thinking that love is something that does not require learning and by worrying more about whether or not we are receiving the love that we want.
When I read this verse that Paul wrote, I started thinking about what he meant by "learn to love appropriately" and "sincere and intelligent love."
My idea of appropriate, sincere, and intelligent love is this:
We prepare and practice for times we can show love. We learn what real love is, and train ourselves to exhibit it.
My question to you:
How can we love appropriately, sincerely, and intelligently?