Love is not easy and teaching Love is harder yet. We all have something to say about Love. We all have an idea of what Love is. Love is the most dominant theme of music, poetry, fiction and cinema. But Love is not easy.
I recently watched a love story called The Notebook. The Notebook is a 2004 American Romance based on the book of the same title and starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The movie captured me. I smiled. I cried. I wanted the love the movie portrayed for myself. When the movie was over I Googled it. I wanted to know more about the characters, the actors, and what the critics had to say. The movie was a box office hit with teenagers and young adults but the critics dismantled it as unrealistic and sentimental. What did this mean? Do young people have an idealized--even romanticized--notion of what Love might be, but the older and wiser among us dismantle any attempts and modeling or proclaiming it?
I want my boys to be great lovers in every way. When they marry I want their wives to fight with each other about who got the best of the Sippy boys. I want little old ladies to marvel at my boys for being polite and thoughtful gentleman. I want their employers to think of them as conscientious men who put the needs of others before their own.
Love shows interest. Love invests time. Love never asks, “Do you love the ballet or basketball, sailing, fishing, art galleries, or golf?” Love asks, “Do you love being with the person you love?” When you love someone you want to know this person inside and out. You want to know what makes them tick. You want to know their joys and hurts. You want to listen.
Love takes time for others without looking for something in return. Love stays up all night long with a baby who is crying. Love sits beside of a person with Alzheimer’s. Love visits someone who is sick. Love surrenders its own comforts and interests. Love says, “I am here for you.”
Love does little things in a big way. Love calls someone on the phone when they have lost a loved one. Love sends cards in the mail. Love says, “I am thinking of you.”
Admittedly, Love is not easy. It is risky. You can be hurt in love. You can show interest in another and the other not show interest in return. But when you love the other is forgiven in advance. Is this easy? Not at all.
I love you and I want you to know that Love is not easy. It is not easy being a Good Dad, either. But being a Good Dad and teaching our children to love makes for a lovelier world. We will fail at love. I do. And then, because we love, we will Love again.
Jeff Sippy, a Dad-In-Training, is the father of three young men and the husband of Cindy. He enjoys sailing every chance that he gets. He is the senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, MO and can be reached for question or comment at firstname.lastname@example.org