Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Love Can Move Mountains"

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

Lessons "Love Comes Softly" can teach us...

The word "love" has many meanings to many people. The New Testament's First Corinthians letter sums up love's attributes by saying, "Love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; is not irritable or resentful..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

In this spirit comes a new DVD collection of the much-cherished "Love Comes Softly" series, produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the classic books by Janette Oke. In the series, a recently-widowed pioneer woman named Marty is forced into an initially loveless marriage of convenience in order to provide for her unborn child. Marty's powerful journey discovering her faith through the loving qualities of patience, trust and acceptance brings to life timeless themes of hardship, compromise, grief and hope. Though set against the backdrop of the pioneer West, her story resonates equally in today's world.

For Marty, uniting her new family in love wouldn't have been possible without a growing faith in God. These movies got us thinking about love's divine nature, so we asked our Beliefnet community to tell us what love means to them. Find out what they had to say.

Love Is...Our Reason for Being

Love Is Our Reason for Being "I think love is the entire purpose of life. I think love is God expressing himself through us. When it comes with attachments and jealousies and etc., I think that is where we are inserting ourselves into the mix and not letting love (God) flow through without obstruction.

I think, as we grow on our spiritual journey, we are more and more able to let that love flow through us without the human limitations."

Love Is...Simple Gestures That Speak Volumes

Love Is Simple Gestures That Speak Volumes"In my day-to-day life, love is quite simple. I see its strength in my life when I am drifting off to sleep with my head on my lovely boyfriend's lap and he is faithfully scratching my back even though he's had a long hard day too. Or when I get home from a long day at work, a day when my boss has yelled and I have cried, and my sweet little kitty jumps up when I get home and bends her head for me to kiss it. Or when my mum buys some flowers and leaves one perfect little bud in a vase by my bed--just because. It's those things that spell out love, at least for me, each day."

Love Is...Taking Action

Love Is Taking Action

"It's action. I started my life with an idea that it was tied to 'how I felt.' I found myself unable to love, just based on how I felt.

Today, my focus is more on principle--do I accept? Do I do things for the person? Do I forgive? Forgiveness is huge. I might suggest it isn't really love until I have to forgive. It's pretty easy to love people who do what you want and never frustrate you. [When I forgive] I can say I love, even when my emotions might not match up with how I think love ought to 'feel.'"

Love Is...Humility In Hard Times

Love Is Humility In Hard Times "The word humility comes to mind. It wasn't until I became sick and then later caring for my mom 24/7 and watching her deteriorate from Alzheimer's Disease that I finally felt I knew the true meaning of love. She became the child I never had and [I] watch[ed] her throughout the years slowly decline from this horrendous disease but [I was] always thankful to God that she knew who I was and the day she finally passed, being there with her holding her me that is the greatest gift I have been given and that is the essense of 'love' to me."

Love Is...Putting Others First

Love Is Putting Others First "To me, love is being able and willing to put oneself aside in order to serve the needs of, friend, neighbor, stranger or foe. To quiet that voice in your head with the to-do lists, the have-to-go reasons and the must-haves, and live in the present moment with that individual. It could be listening (really listening) to an old man recounting the adventures of his youth or taking the time to understand a person you don't even like, to see what she/he sees and maybe why. All people are precious to God and therefore worth both your time and care."

Love Is...Compassion

Love Is Compassion "Love is one thing, but there are many types of love. There's friendship and romantic love. I would say that compassion is also a form of love, probably the one that will save us as a species and save our planet.... I believe the original sin was selfishness.... I can't think of any factor more than selfishness that causes so much suffering in the world today. Some believe love and hate are opposites. I believe love and selfishness are. Love is sharing, and compassion, and right action. All the good stuff and none of the bad."

Love Is...Unconditional

Unconditional "Love means accepting someone just as they were created, unconditionally. It means loving someone no matter what they say or do. Love DOES mean having to say you are sorry, if you love someone with a big ego."

Love Wears Different Faces In Different Places

Love Wears Different Faces In Different Places "I believe 1 Corinthians is speaking of all the different faces love can wear. I mean when you think of the love of a mother to her child, doesn't that take patience, kindness, etc? Relationships--husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc--will take you through each and every one of the different faces of love on a daily basis. I think the idea is to be present as much as you can be from where you are and remember that you really don't want to hurt this person you love so much. Count to 100, temper your words, breathe and decide to have a conversation with this person and try to see their point of view and then help them understand yours. No promises--you may not come to an agreement--but you have given of yourself beyond your comfort zone, you have extended yourself in love to this very important person in your life. Love does take on many faces and sometimes it isn't easy to get to, but it is there."

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