Love and being loved. The energy behind the electricity grid of life. It shapes and molds our spirit, brings hope into the darkest caverns of the heart and drives us in our quest for meaning and purpose.
We link it to sex, to finding our soul mate and to our most vivid daytime dreams. We talk of love in music, weddings, in bed with our lover. It feeds our mind and will and we die for the social causes love inhabits.
Yet so often we treat "love" like a noun. A "something" like a candy bar or wonderful glass of wine. But all out, breath taking, soul saturating love comes through movement, through happenings that have their own birth and inhabit not just our thoughts, but our actions as well. Love at its best implies momentum and behaviors that speak and shout for recognition. In short, love is a verb -- not just a noun.
We call this "love as a verb" Pursuit. By pursuit we mean how two people actually pursue each other in a loving relationship - how we reach out and seek involvement with one another. How we attempt to truly touch our partner's life with tangible behaviors that say "I love you" and "You matter" - really matter!
Talking with one of our friends over the weekend, he shared these thoughts about time with his wife:
Everybody needs to have a moment in each day that is their favorite, one they look forward to everyday. That moment for my wife and I is around 9:00PM at night, after the kids are in bed and the hustle of the day is over. Over the years we found many ways to relieve stress: yoga, running and listening to music to name a few. But none come close to the quiet moments we have spent together each evening drinking a glass of wine while reflecting on the day. It's our time to just be together. We call it wine at nine.
It may only last hour or so, but for us, it's the best hour of the day. We may watch TV, listen to music, play part of a movie or discuss a major decision. This is also a time when I catch myself with my eyes pouring over my wife on how beautiful she is, even in the winter while wearing not two, but three layers of flannel to stay warm. She is the most beautiful person I know. We have our difficult moments together, like everybody, when life gets a little fast and we need to take a breath. So, we consciously and purposefully claim one hour of each day and call it ours.
After the kids grow up and leave the home, we may have to find a new moment for us that works, but for now it works. "Change is good", so the saying goes, but consistency is good too. Nine o'clock comes every evening and I can think of nothing better to be consistent about than spending one hour each day with my wife.
What an expression of true love and care. But don't miss the message: Love doesn't happen accidentally. Comes from chasing after one another with words, time, tenderness and affection.
When is the last time you "chased" your mate? Went after him or her with desire? Whispered his name like you just fell in love for the first time? Embraced your girl and felt her body soak up your tenderness like a deep breath filling her lungs?
When is the last time you made "time stand still" and carved out a moment, a minute or even an hour to let him know he is "it?" How you respect and adore him? That you sat down with your lover and told her she means the world to you - the world and beyond? How beautiful she is?
Maybe you too can start with Wine at Nine. One hour that makes a difference, that challenges complacency as you grope for time and space to touch each other's spirit and heart.
Open the bottle of your heart, let it breathe and then enjoy the smile on her face, the light in his eyes.
For love grows one discernible sip at a time.
One "I love you" after another.
And a thousand tender looks that seem to say "I can't imagine being anywhere else or with anyone else than you."
All this can start with simple acts of pursuit that turn into thousands of memories. All with just one bottle of wine, an open heart and time set aside - Wine at Nine.