Column by Chris Bonham, intern writer
I recently attended a Civil War Ball, a rather large event held for homeschoolers at the DC Fairgrounds every year. It’s a time when teens get dressed up in period-type clothing and dance the night away. Unfortunately, my dancing skills are somewhat lacking. My night was spent in confusion about whether men are supposed to lead with the right or left foot in a Waltz and frustration over things like not being able to do a three-step.
After being thoroughly exhausted, I remember walking up to my parents saying, “The only time you’ll ever see me doing anything like this again is when I’m married.” My words may have been rash and silly, but they actually address an important issue in today’s society. What if I had reworded my own statement for a different situation? “I’d have to love somebody quite a bit for you to see me sacrifice my time to come out and do this frivolous activity.”
In a culture where, especially in the up-and-coming generation, love is promoted as some kind of miracle cure to life’s worries, we need to remember one simple thing: love cannot exist without sacrifice. When you’re a parent, you sacrifice time for your children. If you have a significant other, you sacrifice your energy in order to invest in that person. On the other hand, take a look at how many marriages fail today because one person is unwilling to sacrifice their desires or passions; dreams and hopes.
This month in particular is saturated with the scent of love in the air. We give chocolate, cards, and other tokens of affection; all of which are fine in their own right. But keep this one thought close during February and throughout the year: Affection is a feeling; sacrifice is a lifestyle. Sacrifice means loving others when you don’t think they’re lovable. You sacrifice what you think is true about that person to show value for them. In fact, respect is, in many ways, synonymous with sacrifice.
For many people, love will mean a variety of things this year. Maybe it will be young adults making a point of respecting their parents more. For parents, maybe it’s spending more quality time with their kids. And couples may make every attempt to learn more about each other and care for each other. But, whatever love looks like for you, never forget what you are really demonstrating. Remember that every time you say that word, you are conveying something far deeper. This year, don’t just feel love, live love. And trust me, it’s not half as hard as learning how to waltz!