Written: February 12, 2013 | Updated on June 13th, 2021 | Jun P. Espina | 5 min read
Cultivate Love For It to Work
Loving someone you don’t love at first is one of the mysteries that is in love. I knew of a good-looking guy who married a widow having eight children from her first husband. Or, have you heard of a teenager marrying an old man she hated? But then later on the young girl found herself falling in love with him. In short, love can be cultured and educated. Hence, the expression, “Teach yourself to love him (or her)”. Cultivate love like planting a seed of eternal joy.
Solve the Problem Known as Incompatibility?
There are couples who were madly in love with each other at first but then discovered they were not meant for each other. Perhaps, the love-at-first-sight syndrome took hold of them before finding serious incompatibility in their union. I fell upon this quote, which describes how does true love work: “No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved by they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.” Incompatibility, the number one divorce inventor, is simply the spouses’ unwillingness to ask “one another the reason…sought the remedy.” In one of my posts on this site, I wrote: “If you think incompatibility is worse, then try divorce!” Yes, divorce is the worst form of tragedy in life. Thus, let’s avoid it as much as possible by asking for the root cause of the constant misunderstanding in the relationship, and then seeking for the best remedy. Instead of divorce, cultivate love!
Understand the Law of Cause and Effect
I had the opportunity of giving a lecture to a handful of employees where I told them that to enjoy employment one needs to understand that it is just like entering a gargantuan box having a square area of a thousand miles. This box is being walled by one and only one “material” known as the employer. To work as an employee in Hong Kong or Singapore or anywhere makes no difference at all: you still are an employee; you have a boss [your employer] who will give you orders what to do next, and your income is fixed. You are inside a huge box known as the Employment Box.
Do you want a new life? Then, get out of that box; understand the law of sowing and reaping—the law of cause and effect! Enter another box, perhaps the Self-Employment Box or the Business or Investment Box (Remember Kiyosaki’s “quadrant”?). It is also true with a love relationship: we are inside a Marriage Box, said box being walled by one material known as “our future.” In this box are a many splendid and troubled thing. If you are inside this box but continue to feel you are still in a Single-Person or a Widow Box, then you are courting for trouble.
Call it as an incompatibility, but whatever it was, which caused the death of your love, it would always boil down to the fact that it has a cause (or reason) which can certainly be remedied. The problem is not incompatibility per se, but the failure to understand the law of cause and effect; the failure to understand that a soured relationship was caused by incompatibility and that incompatibility was caused by another cause—by another cause! Folks, there is always a remedy to cure a dying love, for love can be educated. Cultivate love. Understand how to grow it and keep it healthy.
No sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved by they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy. — Anonymous
Avoid the Motivation of Pure Greed and Self-interest?
This question is easily answered by old and dying American or English retirees who are trying to find “love asylum” under the wings of an innocent-looking, young and less educated Filipina or Indonesian. It is a telling phenomenon indeed in the Philippines: young Filipinas marrying or cohabiting with elderly and mostly tattooed American retirees who are not rich! This is more of a dollar- (or greed- and fear-) motivated union. On the part of the young Filipina, dollar; and on the side of the old and sick retiree, fear of facing death alone having no loving families—or being already abandoned by their children—in the US. Although there are many cases of divorce among these loveless and mismatched couples, there are a few who survived. One reason is that love can be groomed and nurtured!
Again, let’s ask this question: how to cultivate love for a union motivated by pure greed? Well, our answer is the same: law of cause and effect. Remove that “greed,” if you want love to grow. Replace greed with the intention and motivation to please, to give joy and make happy your spouse or live-in partner if you want love to grow naturally and become strong. Love can be educated, indeed! Get out of that Greed Box and start to enter the Selfless or the Make-Your-Spouse-Happy Box. That’s it!
Easier Said than Done
You may object that the idea of entering the Make-Your-Spouse-Happy Box (or MYSH Box) is easier said than done, more so if your partner is greedier than you do. My idea is that we all need a little “love education.” It was Dale Carnegie who once said that to “influence people” we need to list down the advantages and the disadvantages of any decision we are about to make. Jesus Christ calls it as “counting the cost.”
Imagine a divorce and how will it ruin your person—your everything! MYSH Box is a worthy alternative. List down its advantages and disadvantages. For it is better to swallow your wicked pride than to buy the idea of one day losing your house, your job, your children, your wife or husband and worse, your sanity. Remember that with a proper “Love Education” there is no substitute for the first husband or wife. Those who will insist that their second husband or wife is better than their first are not telling the truth. For you had more togetherness with your first wife or husband in your youth. She was your girlfriend, for example, while you were still in college. Indeed, it is a difference maker. Your new husband or wife serves as your pain reliever and a band-aid for your wounded heart. What you will desire most after a breakup are a new companionship and a wailing wall, and not necessarily someone whom you loved more than your original spouse. It is difficult, according to research, for the divorced couple to live a life away from each other. After a divorce order, their tendency is to continue to talk for the sake of the children and their sense of emotional balance.
A Little Love Education is Needed
I believe with all of my heart that love can be learned or educated. For example, I have a philosophy that I had shared already a hundred times as to how to run a family: “God first, family second, career third.” Every time our children seemed to have a problem with their love life, my wife would say to them: “My children, remember our family philosophy: God first, family second, career third!” (learned from Mary Kay). And that is what I call “love education.” We have another love principle at home (taken from the Holy Bible):
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” (Eph. 5:22,25)
Why is it that there’s conflict in the family? Because the wife is not submissive and the husband, not willing to die for his wife.
I have another Love Education Lesson, which I applied to my marriage. Every time I had complaints about the weaknesses of my wife, I would immediately rescue myself from disarray by reminding myself of Paul’s philosophy: “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Phil. 4:11b, ESV) There are times when, out of my disappointment, my wife would deliver a lecture to me: “Didn’t you tell us that…’In everything we need to learn to be content’?” “Learn to be content!” what a philosophy; it can save a thousand dying relationships!