There's an old song that says, 'We always hurt the ones we love, the ones we shouldn't hurt at all..." And there is some truth in that. We do it through carelessness and complacency.
Through carelessness by not running through our minds first what comes out of our mouths. (We'd change the world if we'd all do that one.) I'm tired and my words are a little snappier than I intended. But not in the good way. The comment that a dad makes trying to be funny that crushes a teenage girl's fragile sense of self. A mom on a cleaning spree that throws away what she thinks is a piece of scrap paper. Turns out it was a little person's masterpiece intended as a gift to said cleaner. (Can you sense my guilt on that one!?!) We get careless with our love when we're in a hurry or tired. Or both.
But complacency hurts when we become lazy. Being taken for granted, or being forgotten, can hurt as much or more than a stinging remark said in an argument or when someone's under great pressure. Why? One says, 'I slipped for a second when things were tough.' The other says, 'I simply don't care.' Being inconsequential to the ones you pour your souls into is a bitter sting. And it's one I think we've all been guilty of inflicting.
It's not that we don't love the person, whether it's spouse, child, parent or friend, we simply get bogged down in the mundane and forget to express what's in our hearts. Or forget to even check and see that we still have a heart. Not everyday is hearts, flowers, and gooshy love songs. But we do need to make a conscious effort to take our eyes off of our 'to do' lists and look around at those we love. And say we love them. And show we love them.
Both carelessness and complacency are hurtful. But in an unintentional way. They're still love, just love off-course. But love that "delights in doing evil", that's a different story. Someone who intentionally seeks to harm you, emotionally or physically, isn't loving you at all. No matter how many 'I love you' notes they write or times they say it. No matter what they buy you. No matter how they try to cover it up.
Real love doesn't look for ways to do you wrong. Or always hide things to make themselve look or feel better. What does it do instead?
I'll tell you tomorrow. And be sure to check out all the great Valentine ideas you'll find through Rednesday at http://suelovescherries.blogspot.com/