Saturday, February 5, 2011

Love Is...Not Rude

I'm running a little late on this one today. I had yet another one to take to the doctor with his second strain of flu. I'm customer of the month at the pharmacy. Does anyone know where I can get Tamiflu in bulk? Ever see one of those fumigation tents that they put over houses when they're infested with termites or fleas? I wonder if I could get my hands on one and spray in massive doses of Lysol. At this point, I'm getting desperate. Oh well. 'Tis the season.

Today's look at love from I Corinthians 13 is found in verse 5, "it is not rude". I think it's interested that this is the only place in the Bible where I could find this word. God was sure to tell us not to be rude to those we love. We'd better pay attention.

What does it mean to be rude? The dictionary defines it as (1)lacking courtesy; ill-mannered; (2)being in a rough or unfinished state; crude; (3)relatively undeveloped; primitive; (4)lacking education and refinement; (5)sudden and jarring.

Let's start from the bottom and work our way up on these definitions. Sudden and jarring is exactly the definition of love that Hollywood tries to sell you. The actors on the big screen are going about their everyday lives when, BAM, they meet and it's automatic, unending, earth-shattering love. Sorry to burst your Valentine bubble, that's not real. Yes, there can be instant, heart-in-your-throat attraction. But love, real and deep abiding love, that takes time. And work.

Lacking education and refinement. I live with three guys. I can promise you, they have some rather unrefined habits. They revel in bodily functions, they universally find the Three Stooges entertaining and enlightening, they consider hunting catalogs 'reading books'. The type of magazine might change, but this is a normal guy. But you let said guy find someone he really likes, or loves, and all the manners a mother never thought got through suddenly come pouring out of him. He'll open doors. He'll give compliments. He'll restrain from showing you how loud he can burp the alphabet. And that requires a lot of effort on their part. That's love.

Relatively underdeveloped; primitive. Real love doesn't stop with 'I love you' or even 'I do'. It works hard to continue to develop and grow. People can be married for fifty years and still learn new things about the people they love, new ways to help each other. Life changes. Love changes with it. It's immaturity that says, "You don't love me the way you did at first" and then walks away. The beginning stages of love are just that--the beginning. Long-lasting love, deep love, requires time. And work.

Being in a rough or unfinished state; crude. Go back a couple of paragraphs. If the guy isn't treating you any differently than one of his buddies, you need to take a hard look at the relationship. It doesn't matter how rough and hard he is outside of his relationship, with love it should be different. A kindness and gentleness that isn't present with 'the guys' is a mark that this is more than friendship.

Lacking courtesy; ill-mannered. Plain-spoken, love minds its manners. It pays attention and tries its best. It acts like it ought to. But how often do we save our best for company or those we encounter in the outside world and act like snarly dragons with those at home? Have you ever had a fit in the car, threatening life and limb, then rolled down the window and ordered your dinner at the drive-thru with a smile on your face and a thank you on your lips? Or yelled at someone in the house and turned around and talked sweetly to someone on the other end of the phone? Oh, guess that's just me.

Love is not rude. I can promise you. I went out with a perfect example. Chalk it up to adolescent stupidity, unyielding optimism or a bump on the head, I once went out with Mr. Wrong. Mr. Way Wrong. Mr. Rude. He had no manners whatsoever. He had an endless supply of bodily noises with which to serenade me. And lest you think I exaggerate, I will tell you about our dinner date. He took me to Taco Bell. While in line he told me he didn't have much money so I'd have to buy my own food. Then he proceeded to order about 12 tacos for himself. Then he took me over to some people's house, unannounced, where we ate our food. Awkward. Needless to say, he wasn't the guy for me. Thank you Lord.

Love is not rude.

It pays for your taco.


JennaLane said...

i never realized that this is the only place in the bible where the word Rude is used. Great post, as always!

Jean said...

LOL, you are kidding right? Oh my!

Kelly Mac said...

About my date with Mr. Rude? So wish I was! Alas, he is very real.