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True Love Defined

True Love Defined

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Published by Jay Badry

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Jay Badry on Jul 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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Title: True Love DefinedBy: Jay W. BadryWord Count: 582Who can forget the scene from the movie,
 Princess Bride
whenthe priest utters the immortal words:
Twoo wuv has bwot ustogever
”? But have you ever tried to actually define True Love?In his classic book,
 Love Life for Every Married Couple
, Dr. EdWheat defines love in this way:
 Love is the power that produceslove as I learn how to give it rather than strain to attract it.
My wife and I have used thisdefinition in counseling couples for years and have applied it to our own marriage aswell.Becky and I are in our 32
nd
year of marriage and, while there were some prettydifficult days in our early years, we have built a strong relationship that stands the test of time
and 
a busy travel schedule for us both. The foundation for our relationship iscaptured in Dr. Wheat’s definition of love:
 Learning how to give it rather than straining to attract it.
 I have a confession…I was a teen in the 70s. I know, visions of strange clotheslike Naru Jackets (if you don’t know, don’t ask), wide ties and memories of mirror ballsand disco come to your mind. This was a strange decade for America’s teens. So whydid we succumb to these weird fashions and cultural norms? We were straining to attractthe opposite sex…it’s just that simple. I realize that we were after “Puppy Love”, but asone man said, “Don’t knock puppy love, it’s real to the puppy.”
 
Immature love is all about getting and we’ll do almost anything to attract it.Adolescent love is self-centered and self-absorbed. It’s all about how the other personmakes
me
feel. Sadly, most people never grow out of immature love; they carry thisconcept of relationships being all about me right into their adult years. I believe this iswhy so many marriages never make it: One or both are so self-consumed that they never grow into mature love.If Dr. Wheat is correct, the key to a loving and long-lasting relationship is giving.Mature love learns how to express love to the other person in terms they can understand.Gary Chapman’s fantastic book,
The Five Love Languages
taught me how to expresslove to Becky in ways she understood. I can’t tell you how applying Chapman’s principles to my marriage changed our relationship.I loved Becky almost from the first time I saw her, but the only way I knew toexpress my love was according to
my
love languages. Once I realized that she had adifferent idea of what love looked like, I was in the fast lane! I came to understand thatto her, love looked like spending quality time together and seeing me help her around thehouse. Not very romantic from my perspective, but these things wrote L-O-V-E in largeletters to her.The interesting thing is that we can apply the principles of giving love andexpressing love to any relationship. Of course, there is an intimacy in marriage that noother relationship enjoys, but every relationship, whether a working relationship or  parenting relationship or friendship is most powerful when it is based on giving rather than getting. Let me encourage you to read Chapman’s book and Wheat’s book and learnto express love rather than merely expect love. Begin to give instead of take and see the

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