Many of you already know this, but the secret to a strong relationship with your significant other or children or grandchildren or even some friends is to love them more than you love yourself…well, I guess I just finished my blog post, but for the sake of being normal, I’ll expand a bit.
The Bible actually puts this in a real good way, “Greater love hath no man than to give his life for another.” There are many versions of this same scripture, but they all come down to the same thing…love and sacrifice. You don’t have to give your life to prove this kind of love…you just have to be willing to do so. It’s like the old military story (based on true happenings) about the soldier who throws him or herself onto a hand grenade to save his or her buddies. The love for your fellow soldiers is an amazing thing. It’s something the survivors never forget. It is life-altering.
Another way of putting this, especially for Christians, is that you pray for the other more than you pray for yourself. Not as dramatic as giving your life, but still a selfless act that shows your love for that other person.
Sometimes this feeling is automatic. You can feel it when you look at your infant child sleeping. The love can almost overwhelm you when you realize that little bundle you helped produce has become your entire life…willingly. Every cell within you is willing to throw itself in front of a train to save this child. When the child gets older, your selfless feelings don’t change much. They can grow up to be a criminal and you still have those feelings. You can’t help it.
Now it’s obvious that not everybody seems capable of this. You read and see news reports all the time that show parents who abuse their children. They, for one reason or another, have missed out on the secret to love. Those children have less of a chance to learn the secret as well. Children might not be able to express that they feel your love, but they do feel it. Deep down they know you would fling yourself in front of that train…just like they know that you would fling them in front of the train when you don’t love them. This makes me sad.
I grew up knowing my dad would do anything for me. I’m not saying he would do bad or immoral things, just that he would do everything within his power to give me what I needed to make it through life. His sacrifices as I grew up are clear to me now as an adult. His life was guided by making sure I was loved…and I still feel it to this day.
This morning, as I gazed out the back window at the beautiful woods behind my new beautiful home, I turned to my wife and thanked her. She wondered why? I told her that if I didn’t love her so much, I would’ve never bought the home. I did it for her and now I get to also reap the benefits of a lovely place to call home. Now, in turn, her selfless love for me is turning it into a real home where I can come home and feel the love as I walk through the door. When the selfless love is on both sides of a relationship, everybody wins.
So, in conclusion, this really isn’t a secret. It’s really common sense. Loving one another is the message Jesus gave us. It’s the secret to happiness for everybody involved. I pray that we all learn this, then the world can be a better place for everybody.