A disgruntled wife came into a lawyer’s office full of hatred and animosity toward her husband declaring she wanted a divorce. She commented to the lawyer, “I don’t only want to get rid of him; I want to get even – before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.”
After several minutes of discussion, the lawyer suggested an ingenious plan: “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, and to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him with all of your being. Only after you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb by telling him you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.” With a menacing glee in her eyes, she smiled and said, “What an amazing scheme – will he ever be surprised.”
For the next two months, she acted “as if” she loved her husband with all the enthusiasm she could muster showing kindness, listening intently, giving in every way imaginable, reinforcing his ego as a wonderful husband, and sharing how fulfilling it was to be his wife.
After two months, the lawyer called and asked if she was ready to drop the hammer and tell her husband she was going to divorce him. “Divorce!” she exclaimed. “Never!” The lawyer asked why she had changed her mind. She replied, “I have discovered I really do love him.”
And so it is with actions over feelings. The ability to love is established not so much by how one feels, but by what one does. The Bible declares in 1Cor.13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”
In the upper room the night before he was to be crucified, Jesus said to his followers, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John13:34-35).
In a month that highlights love, may our words as well as our actions prove we are truly his disciples.