In my office, I have this Blessed Mother Theresa quote taped to the wall behind my computer. If this quote had eyes, it would stare at me every day; however, I wouldn’t say that I stare at this quote every day. Sometimes, I glance up to see if this quote is still looking at me, and quickly look away, hoping it didn’t notice. This quote isn’t a “make me feel good, I’m having a bad day” quote, it’s a quote that makes me scratch my head and think—actually sometimes it’s a huge slap in the face, reminding me what I’m not doing. At first glance, this quote has the ability to agitate you, or even make you a little defensive. We also know that Blessed Mother Theresa didn’t have a tendency to sugar-coat things, and I think she would have wanted me to share her words with you as well. Considering this is the month of “love and romance,” let’s look at love from an angle that is often forgotten.
Love is “what can I do for you?” not “what are you doing for me?” We applaud President Kennedy when he addressed Americans in 1961 with this same mentality regarding our country, however when we are asked to sacrifice our own happiness for our relationships and for those that we love, all of a sudden it becomes really personal, and somewhat uncomfortable. In his Letter to the Ephesians (chapter 5, verse 25), Saint Paul asks husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. It’s a mistake to breeze past that paragraph. Just like Blessed Mother Theresa’s example of emptying one’s self for love, Saint Paul suggests that husbands should do the same—Christ died for His beloved Church. I don’t know what empties us more of selfishness, other than laying your life down for someone. Let us not forget, Ladies, Saint Paul also asks wives to submit themselves to their husbands as they would to the Lord. This doesn’t mean you are controlled, but instead directs you to love with a servant’s heart; again, something Jesus did for us. He is the perfect example of love because He is love.
Because of all these things, I keep that quote taped to my wall. It reminds me that love is not chocolates, flowers or even a diamond ring. It’s not a feeling. It’s the willingness to put another before you . . . and to me, that is romance.