Extra Virgin :: How Do You Make Someone Love You?
In Sunday School a few weeks ago, Logan taught a lesson to the middle schoolers that I can’t get out of my head. He asked them, “How do you make someone love you?”
He set up a scenario in which he desperately loves *someone* named Aanna, but she doesn’t love him back. What should he do? Kidnap her until she agrees to love him? Force himself into her life and demand she change? Try to find ways to impress her? All of these tactics would fail miserably because if Aanna doesn’t love him, these plans would only alienate her further.
“No,” Logan said, “The only thing you can do when you love someone who doesn’t love you back is to demonstrate your own love for her.”
It probably seems obvious to everyone else, but for me it was an Aha! moment. What do you do when you love people who love you? Love them. What do you do when you love people who don’t love you back? Love them. Or—and this may be more applicable for most of us—what do you do when you love people who aren’t acting in a loving way toward you? You demonstrate your love for them. (I like this definition of love.)
I think my natural reaction when someone doesn’t respond to my love the way I want him or her to is to feel slighted, hurt, angry or afraid. And then to direct those feelings at that person. But God has set me a different example ::
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
His response to my rejection was to continue loving, even demonstrating his love in a wild act of sacrifice that rescued me from myself. It’s amazing! And really…it made me love him back.
(Photo of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg found here.)