Wednesday, February 1, 2006

"And They Call It Puppy Love..."

February is a good month to think about love. After all, February 14th is the day all good husbands give their wives a dozen or so red roses, right? And all good wives will have a wonderful steak dinner prepared in a spotless house when their man walks in with those roses, right again?

Uh, huh...sure. That’s the way it would go in a romance novel. But my reality is just a bit different.

Number 1—Steve would never walk through the door with a bunch of cut roses...I would despair of the waste of thirty bucks or more on some flowers that will be gone in a week, when that money could have purchased that new variety of blueberry bush I want to plant this year. He knows better.

Number 2—As much as I would like to have that spotless house, we have six people in the house and right now, two dogs (Our dog, Penny, is babysitting my folks’ dog, Sassy, for a couple weeks.). Dog hair, baby toys, endless loads of laundry, leaves and bark dragged in with each armload of wood for the wood stove. [Side Note: Is it normal to need to run the dishwasher 2 or 3 times a day? And just how many drinking glasses does each person need to use in one day!?!]

But all the fuss of February 14th is not really the point of celebrating love this month...

As I was thinking about how love is supposed to be celebrated, a 70’s song from the Jackson 5 came playing through my mind. The song is cute...but the title is what got my attention.

What exactly is “Puppy Love?” Well, every puppy I’ve every known loves in the following ways.

  1. Unconditionally. No matter how much you ignore them...If you forget to put water in the dish...Puppies (and a lot of adult dogs, too) completely accept their people and lavish unconditional love on them.
  2. Enthusiastically. As soon as they see you, puppies are jumping up on you, running around you, doing their best to bathe you in their enthusiastic affection. If you walk out and walk right back in, a puppy will act as if you had been gone for hours and again cover you up in love.
  3. Unreservedly. Puppies don’t hold back their love waiting to see if you’re going to love them back. They just love you. Period. No waiting for you to say just the right word. No hurt feelings if you don’t talk to them for a while.
  4. Absolutely. Puppies don’t bounce between pouty hormones and disappointment over unmet expectations. You are their person. They love you.

I think those are the kinds of thoughts behind 1 Corinthians 13, called the Love Chapter. It is God’s directions to us on how to love...our families (immediate and extended), our friends, our neighbors, all those God puts in our paths.

It is also the way God loves us...unconditionally, enthusiastically, unreservedly, and absolutely—Read John 3:16 and Romans 5:8.

Just a word of warning...If you haven’t been practicing the “Puppy Love” sort of loving up to this point, you aren’t going to be able to make it up on this one day, February 14.

But give it your best shot...Chocolate is a great way to start. My personal favorite is Lindor Lindt Truffles, particularly hazelnut-flavored.

I also hear jewelry works pretty well, too (although for me, we again come to the dilemma of how many plants could be bought instead).

First printed February 2006 in The Freedom Reader, a publication of Spring Valley Freedom Bapist Church, Huntington, WV.

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