Love is a verb

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has a lot of tremendous lessons. Some of what he helps readers with includes focusing on only what they have control over, embracing being proactive, and trying to pursue what’s actually urgent – not just what seems urgent.

But, my favorite lesson is that love is a verb. Here is the conversation from the book that demonstrates it. It begins with a man walking up to him after an event:

“My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can i do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. the feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend , love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”