Love Means Never . . .

Oh no, I can’t believe it. It was on TV and once again I watched Love Story. Oh dear God, forgive me. I don’t know if I should repent or apologize for even thinking about the movie. It has got to be the most schmaltziest movie in history, but yes, I watch it again. Oh, I am so embarrassed.

I remember when the movie first hit the theaters, back in 1970, I sat through 17 or 18 viewings. I was 12 years old and spent any money I could earn from my paper route. In fact, it formed the earliest images in my mind of what love really was. Oh, not that my future mate would have to die, but rather, it would always be romps in the park and picnics on Sunday afternoon; snowball fights in the winter; tumbling in the leaves during cool autumn days; and of course, lots of kissing and hugging.

I saw ourselves forever desperately in love as we played house in our quaint little apartment, that came completely furnished and decorated. I would strive in every way to meet my wife’s needs, and my wife would always look totally happy, sexy, and cherished. I would be both strong and tender as I arrived home from work as fresh as when I left. I would always remember birthdays and anniversaries, and the exact time we kissed for the first time or held hands

My wife, on the other hand, would be waiting at the door when I arrived so she could simply fall into my arms. Over her shoulder I would survey a shining, polished house, and smell the aroma of dinner ready to be enjoyed — unless, of course, she playfully steered me into the bedroom first.

Ah yes. and I always drove a British MG-T, and somehow, the bills always stayed paid. Trash never accumulated. Nobody ever vomited, burped, had bad breath, or passed gas. When we smiled, we never had food caught between our teeth. Laundry never piled up; diapers never got dirty, and children were perfect angels at all times. In fact, they came already trained and disciplined!

Yeah, that is how I envisioned what love was like. Oh, and how profound everyone thought Jennifer’s (Ali MacGraw) line was! “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Oh, how deep and wise . . . [gag]. No really, what the heck does it mean? It is certainly the most famous line from the movie. But when I gave my life to Jesus, I discovered how absurd that statement really is. Are they saying that you never have to apologize to your significant other? Or is there another meaning that I am missing? Maybe it means that if you truly love someone you will never have a reason to say you’re sorry. I don’t know.

Aah, Barbara Rose PhD offered her input:

True love is unconditional. It is transparent, where we can accept, understand, and allow the other person to make every mistake, falter, stumble, and give genuine heartfelt compassion when they are trying their best, even if their best is can be “better.”

Love carries no judgment or manipulation. Love carries no ego, or the need for ego gratification. True love is pure. It is deep, eternal, and it never dies . . .

“Never having to say you’re sorry” means that you know you are loved truly for who you are. You are accepted. In order to give this kind of love to someone else, we first have to love and accept ourselves with the utmost loving compassion, understanding, and carry zero self-judgment.

Hmm, maybe. That may make sense from a human and psychological stand point. But really, as Christians, is this what we are to believe? No!. Of all the terms and phrases we have heard to define what love means, this is one of the worst! Erase it from your memory; bury it and don’t bother putting up a tombstone so you can find it again.

This is not what unconditional love means! Tue love means that you never stop apologizing! Do you really believe that you can love and never have to offer heartfelt apologies? Yeah, yeah. I realize that the preacher will tell you at every wedding that people are supposed to love you for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health. But that doesn’t mean you will never have to repent, apologize and mend a broken heart.

In any relationship where two people are involved, there will be times of hurt. Times when you must find healing and forgiveness. As my mother always says, “Marriage is not for cowards!”

Hey, this sentiment of Erich Segal, is not new. Back in the 1949 film, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon,” John Wayne’s character said, “Never apologize and never explain, it’s a sign of weakness!” That is absurd!

So you really believe that if you say you are sorry and try to explain yourself, you are a weak person, as if you are giving the other person some kind of power over you? Sorry, John Wayne, this is the wrong message, especially to men.

The truth is, it takes strength and love to apologize. Admitting our mistakes doesn’t mean that we will never commit the same mistakes, again. In fact, if you never admit your mistakes, you can almost guarantee that they will be repeated. We don’t avoid confessing the same sin because we are prone to commit them again. But by confessing our offenses, we are working at lessening the degree and frequency, through the Grace of our Father. It is the same attitude necessary to apologizing to those we love.

Maybe John Lennon understood this when he said, “Love means having to say you’re sorry every fifteen minutes.” Come on, let’s admit that not everyone is perfect and we sometimes hurt those close to us. Whether its unintentional or intentional really doesn’t matter: we hurt one another. If we don’t deal with it, those hurts will build up to become solid anger-layers inside us. We need to build a habit of heartfelt apologies and how apologies refresh and build humble, cooperative relationships.

A heartfelt apology says: I acknowledge that I hurt you. A heartfelt apology doesn’t have to be heavy but it has to be honest, humble and truly seeking reconciliation. Anyone can see a BS-apology a mile off and all it does is solidify the anger of the person you offended.

Nope. Skip the idea that you don’t need to say your “sorry,” but rather, seek healing and have the humility to open your heart to those you have offended. Period. That is the Jesus way!

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your generous gifts.
It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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