Love Is a Verb, Too!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

“Love (noun): 1) an intense feeling of deep affection.  2) a great interest and pleasure in something
“Love (verb): 1) feel deep affection for.  2) like or enjoy very much.”

  • Oxford Language online

The quote above shows that “love” can be a noun or a verb. They relate to each other in first and second definitions, but after I wrote and scheduled this, I heard a children’s television show. If you accepted their woke brainwashing definition, you will never have a successful relationship with anyone. My wife and I were at a restaurant and noon on a Saturday and they had a children’s “science” show on the television. They started off explaining how we were nothing but an accident of evolution. They compared our DNA with that of a strawberry and explained how by the luck of a draw, we evolved into a human instead of a strawberry. A little later in the show, one of the hosts scoffed at the expression “loving with all your heart.” She said that it should be loving with all your mind. She turned a famous poem about love with all you heart into something sappy by replacing “heart” with “brain.” Totally disgusting. Then she spent half the 30 minutes television show reducing “love” down to hormones in your body that excited the brain and that was the only thing that “love” was. Obviously, she did not know God, a God who sent His Son to die for us, even her, if she would only believe. Why do marriages fail at such an alarming rate? If they believe that “love” is nothing than hormones, hormones can fail. Love is more than hormones. Love is more than a noun. Love is also a verb. And sometimes, it takes a lifetime before we can do it right.

Have you heard, or used, the statement about a young couple, “They are in love, but I don’t know if they love each other?”

My mother absolutely hated public displays of affection (PDA).  In my wedding photo where my mother, and everybody else, is either laughing, or at least smiling, it is because I have just muttered that I wished the photographer would run out of film, this was killing me.  But maybe kissing on your wedding day was okay.  My mother and father never even held hands … not even in private.

My wife is not as bad as my mother, but she will see two young people in love who can’t keep their hands off each other in public, and she will whisper to me, “Well, I can see they are in lust, but do they know what love is?”

And let us differentiate sex from love.  Considering the word “love” as a verb, in the sense of this writing, has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with “love making.”

My mother seemed to not have deep affection for anything other than perfection in her work and disdain, if anyone was less than her view of perfection, or affection, if a thousand miracles happened all at once, they were perfect in my mother’s eyes.  I might have reached 999 miracles a couple of times, but she had complaints about the one miracle that did not happen.

When I had a moment of teen-aged insanity…  In other words, I spoke my mind – out loud.  I told my mother that she did not love me.  I did so when my sister was visiting.

My mother then gave me an hour-long lecture, or longer, about how she gave me clothing to wear and there were no holes in the clothing.  She gave me food on the table on time – a stickler for punctuality.  She helped provide the roof over my head by working a fulltime job.  “Now, shut up!!”  My sister was brief, but she said that I could not compare my mother to other mothers.  She provides what she can provide and don’t expect anything more than that.  In that she provides, she loves you.

Now, 50 years or so since that “conversation,” I observe these young people of today.  They have great “compassion” for the poor and the needy.  They talk about how their hearts go out to these people.  But I never see them give a dollar bill to a homeless man.  And when it is dinner time, the husband, coming home after a long day at work, asks the wife, who has been home all day, where dinner is, but she forgot.  Oops.  But, “I love you?” 

Sorry, the words do not produce any belief, absolutely no trust. And the roles could be reversed with a house husband and a wife that works.

Maybe some people are not meant to be cooks, but when they cannot clean the house or wash the dishes or wash clothing, what is left?  Why cannot they do these things?  Their mind has wandered to those homeless people, and they wish that they could do something, but they cannot do that either.  But thinking of those homeless people takes up their entire day.

Wow!  I always thought of those homeless people as I rolled down the window and handed them a couple of green paper things from my wallet, and often more than two one-dollar bills. But sometimes, the two one-dollar bills was all that I used to have, because now the homeless man had them.  And I think of those needy people when I am home with a roof over my head as I have a load of clothes in the washer, another in the dryer, and I am elbow deep in the sink washing dishes.

I had no idea that thinking and never doing was a fulltime job!!!!!

Wake up, people!!  Love is a VERB!!!

Love is more than clothing, food, and shelter – those necessities of life.  But when you are thinking and never doing for others and that is your excuse to never DO for your own family, they miss out on the necessities!!!  Forget woman’s work or man’s work!  Somebody has to love the children and do something.  Forgetting the necessities is beyond pathetic, and there is no LOVE there.

Some people are in love with the concept of love, but they never experience the true thing.  And many of these people are sitting in the church pew because that is what people do when they have a heart for the poor and needy.  But can they even open their wallet then?  Or volunteer at the soup kitchen?  No, they are too busy thinking about the poor to do either of those.

I know!  Let them eat cake!!

So far, these are just “general” comments, but now for a little lower rank than a general.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Our Engineering battalion went on maneuvers for a two-week stay in the woods.  I was one of many young lieutenants in charge of engineering platoons.  Engineers build.  Engineers dig in the dirt.  Engineers did noble things. This was going to be fun.

The battalion commander, a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC), walks out to where we had gathered to hand out initial assignments to ensure that we were up-to-date with our skills.  He said, “Lt. Adams, build a bridge over the creek.  Lt. Baker, dig a ditch next to the road.  Lt. Chambers, build a TO (Theater of Operations) structure that we will tear down tomorrow.  (From panels made before we went into the woods, build a house, not to be used, just to prove that you can do it in a day’s time – half the day to lay out the foundation and the other half to build the house.)”  And on it went in alphabetical order.  Then he came to me, “Lt. Rackley, erect the latrine.”  The other officers snickered. They knew not to guffaw or they would be building the latrine.

I went to my platoon sergeant and told him that we had a noble task, trying to soften the blow a bit.  All the “noble” tasks had already been taken.

Then my wise platoon sergeant read the expression on my face that I tried so hard to hide.  He said, “Sir, if we don’t go down that road where Adams built a bridge, his work means nothing to us.  If we don’t go the other way when its raining cats and dogs, we will never experience the benefit of Baker’s ditch.  But everybody is going to have to go to the latrine.  We’re going to be here two weeks.  And knowing our cooks, we’re going to need to go.  And you are missing one important thing about erecting the latrine.  It is just a hole in the ground until somebody uses it, and by then, we will be basking in the glory of a job well done.”

Later on, the LTC came by to thank me for the job well done.  My platoon had built a latrine for the field grade officers (the LTC and the two majors), another for the company grade officers (the captains, lieutenants, and warrant officers), and a third latrine for the enlisted regardless of rank.  My sergeant had suggested it that manner as the sergeants had to make sure the privates kept the place clean.  The LTC especially liked the added amenities in the field grade latrine: a spider stick to make sure that you do not get bitten by a spider when you sit, a toilet paper stand with more than one roll of TP, and scented soap (what I had brought for my personal use) to wash their hands afterwards.

Oh, the spider stick?  You take the stick and run it around the hole a couple of times to knock any spider web off before you sit, and hopefully you have finished your business before a deadly spider returns.  Can you believe that we had such “injuries” and fatalities in Vietnam?

But now for my wife and I, she recently admitted that as our boys grew up, she did it all for them.  Sorry, I was not a consideration at all.  I think she forgot a few occasions where she thought of me, maybe as an afterthought.  But I enjoyed the ride, because in feeding the boys, I got to eat.  The clothes were always washed and mine were ironed.  The house was clean.

But with the boys grown and even some of the grandchildren grown, she does for the younger ones whenever possible and when she has the strength.  They give her a reason to keep going.

And because she has many days when she cannot function at all with her kidney failure, I do almost all the house cleaning, all the laundry (two loads as I wrote this), and I washed the dishes from the meal that I cooked last night – something really, really simple.  She was feeling so bad that she did not want to eat, so I boiled a few eggs.  And then she felt better, enough for two.  The dialysis center had fussed about her lack of protein the day before.

You can look at all the things in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is, but do not lose sight of the most important thing that love is.

Love is a verb.  Love God.  Love your family.  Love one another.  To borrow a commercial slogan from a company that I have rarely purchased a product:

Just do it.

Maybe there will be no trademark infringement if we add a word:

Love, just do it.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. and you know Mark, that’s what is so special about love as a verb—it usually comes with no recognition or thanks…that’s what makes it really grand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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