By Denise Turney
While listening to Virginia Beach, Virginia’s radio station 95.7 FM as I conduct research for various writing clients, every now and then a commercial will cross the wire. During the commercial, teens speak about undesirable behaviors their boyfriends or girlfriends engage in. Some teens talk about their boyfriends/girlfriends getting jealous simply because they spoke to another person. Other teens, on the commercial, talk about their girlfriends/boyfriends hitting them because they “love them so much”. The driving message of the commercial is that love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t harm.
Love Never Fails
Purpose of the commercial is to make parents aware of signs of domestic violence, painful events their growing children might be part of. It’s a message teens and adults may benefit from hearing repeatedly. This may be due, in part, to the fact that a wealth of emotions are typically a part of explosive, violent relationships. These high emotions can be intoxicating, pulling us in, promising positive emotional highs we may never come down from. Hearing love songs may increase our emotional highs, making it hard for us to break away from these unhealthy relationships, cause us to feel as if a love spell has been placed on us. Rocky, dysfunctional relationships might feel good for awhile. However, love doesn’t hurt.
If relationships don’t involve physical violence, they may involve sexual, financial, emotional or psychological violence. This isn’t love. Even if people we’re in relationships with send us poems about love or quotes about love, that doesn’t mean they love us. Love doesn’t hurt.
It’s not love when we search for (actually look for) faults, errors, wrongs or mistakes in others. That’s not love. It’s not love when we broadcast or highlight mistakes others make, as if talking about someone else’s mistakes wipes our mistakes clean. It’s not love when we try to control and/or manipulate others by force, guilt, fear, discomfort (ever perform the silent treatment on someone) or embarrassment.
Love is Patient, Love is Kind
As I Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
Contrary to what some who choose to abuse claim, love never failing doesn’t mean that we should stay in abusive relationships. We were created by love. We were created with love. We were created to love. We were created to be loved. As Raymond Clarke learns early in the new book, Love Pour Over Me, we are here to awaken to love. And we have the strength to do that.
Love stands up against the toughest storms. Love conquers all, or perhaps better put, true love remains in its natural state despite all attempts to change it. Even when we think love is gone or buried, it remains. All we have to do is open our eyes and awaken. Sometimes life brings a certain person or specific people, like good friends and a soul mate, into our lives so we can awaken to love. For Raymond, these invitations to accept and receive love come in the form of Brenda (the love of Raymond’s life) and three good-good friends.
Violence, though all around the college students to the point of bloodshed, doesn’t become a part of their relationships. Considering the harrowing and mysterious experiences Raymond has with NFL star, Anthony Thompson, it’s eye raising that the friends never turn on each other. Considering secrets in Raymond’s family’s past, it’s a wonder Brenda continues to love Raymond.
It’s also eye raising that Raymond doesn’t give up on love, his childhood being anything but ordinary. Then, love does not fail. Regardless of twists, turns, challenges and doubts – love simply does not fail. It also never hurts. And when we’re loving the right man or loving the right woman, relationships fill our lives with goodness.
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