Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love is Actions

Love is actions.

Well, maybe not completely. I mean, feelings come into it, too. David Roche (of the Church of 80% Sincerity) suggests that love is 20% feelings, and 80% actions. Or thereabouts.

But still... no matter how you claim to feel about someone, or even how you really truly feel about them deep down in the depths of your soul, if you aren't treating them well, you aren't loving them.

Love is actions.
"Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don't tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all her children. Don't preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give."
~Cory Booker
This is being passed around on Facebook by a lot of people I know. I have no idea who Cory Booker is, but I applaud the sentiment.

Love is actions.

That's why "love the sinner, hate the sin" doesn't work. Every time I hear that phrase, someone is using it to defend their unloving behavior towards another person or group of people. Over on FC's blog, commenter JarredH observed (in response to just such an approach):

"Does not God ask us to love everyone? We can love the person but not the sin which homosexuality is."
Jarred Responded:
Yes, but let’s look at what God says about love. Starting with what might be the most well-known verse…

"John 3:16:For God so loved the world that He…"

Did you catch that? God’s love was so intense and awesome that it moved Him to act. And you’ll find that throughout the Bible.

Love is not an abstract concept. It’s not a state of mind. It’s a call to action. Without the subsequent action, love simply is not real. And that’s the problem with all these “sin hating sinner-lovers.” They never act towards the “sinners” they allegedly “love.” Heck, most of the time, they don’t even bother to get to know those “sinners.”

You can’t love someone under those circumstances. The Bible doesn’t permit for it. Love calls for and requires action.

And if you finish that verse, you discover it usually requires sacrificial action. Not self-righteous “tough love.”
Love is actions. (Much the same can be said of faith, by the way.)

In discussing the series Big Love, Ana Mardoll introduced me to Gary Chapman and his idea that there are five Love Languages, which Ana characterizes as Praise, Time, Gifts, Service, and Physical Affection. These are, according to Chapman, things that different people need in different degrees. Realizing and communicating what you need - and by the same token, learning and supplying what your partner needs - helps build a relationship in which both partners feel loved.

That's right. In order to have the feeling of being loved, you must have the actions of being loved.

Love is actions.


  1. Fantastic! Love is definitely actions. Words just turn into "blah, blah, blah" after a while with no actions behind them.

    If you say, "I love you", but you don't do "I love you" there is no love.

  2. Yep. Beautiful Wife first introduced me to this concept years ago, and I really liked it - and then yesterday, what Jarred was saying came together with a mess of other things, and (kapow!) out came this post.

  3. Wow, Great post! I agree it's action over words.

  4. Sometimes, however, the "action" required in loving someone is the williness to sit quietly and avoid imposing your own presence or needs on the object of said love. "...for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction..."


  5. Good point. Sometimes the question isn't, "What can I do?"

    Sometimes, "What, if anything, needs to be done?" is better.


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