PopExcavators

Making the once known known again.

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

1964 Promotional Poster

About ten years ago I was talking to a friend about her divorce which had just gotten finalized.  Hers was a situation in which she wanted to stay married but her husband did not.  At the time I was fascinated with the concept of love ending, so I asked my friend a lot of questions about the issue.  She graciously answered them all but it was her final statement that hit me hard.  She said, “Love is a choice.  At the beginning of our relationship I chose to love my husband, and ultimately I had to choose to stop loving my husband.”

My 21-year old self did not fully understand what my friend meant.  Being the child of divorced parents, my views of romantic love were slightly skewed already.  In fact, her words just created more questions that I needed answers to.  How do you choose to love someone?  Isn’t love an emotion?  Don’t emotions just happen naturally?  If we choose to stop loving one person, is it possible to truly love another?  I had no answers to any of these questions until I saw the film “Les Parapluies De Cherbourg” (Umbrellas of Cherbourg.) Yes it’s a foreign film.  Yes all of the dialogue is sung.  Yes I expect you to keep reading this article.

Directed by Jacques Demy, “Les Parapluies De Cherbourg” was a major success upon release.  It received many accolades, including the highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.  It was a commercial success as well, becoming one of the most popular films of 1964.  At the time the film was revered for it’s jazzy music score and the brilliance of the visual impact.

Genevieve and Guy

Here’s a brief synopsis: 17-year-old Genevieve and 20-year-old Guy are in love.  They want to get married but Genevieve’s mother, an umbrella shop owner, disapproves of the relationship.  Before marriage can be discussed further, Guy gets drafted and has to leave for two years of service. Guy and Genevieve have to choose whether or not they will continue to love each other.

I chose to excavate this film because Demy’s perspective is a unique one.  Many movies give us characters who are drawn to each other or can’t help loving each other.  Demy takes it further and shows the choice involved in love.  He also shows us the consequences (good and bad) of those choices.  Watching again recently as someone who has experienced heartbreak since his first viewing, I can say it’s one of the most realistic portrayals of love I have ever seen.  Sometimes when we love someone our identity gets so wrapped up in the other person that we can’t imagine life without them.  We end up making rash decisions that we can’t take back.  Decisions with effects that are irreversible.  Demy portrays this reality well.

I want to hear your thoughts.  Do you think love is a choice?  Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose to stop loving someone?  How much of your identity should be found in loving another?   You can watch “Les Parapluies De Cherbourg” in it’s entirety below (click the ‘cc’ below the screen to turn on the subtitles.  Give it a few seconds to load.) Please don’t feel like you have  to watch it before joining the conversation.  Oh and yes it’s still a foreign film.  And yes all of the dialogue is still sung.  See you next Monday.

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59 comments on “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

  1. Nicole Yancey
    June 10, 2012

    I am not sure if I fully agree love is a choice. I guess it depends on what type of love we are talking about. In my 16 years of dating, there are four men that I said I was “in love” with. One of which I was supposed to marry. While each of those relationships ended and eventually my feelings changed I don’t believe they simply turned off or I even had a choice in the matter. The love just went through a metamorphosis. What the love desired from the relationship changed but the love itself remained. It just went from a combo of 3 of the 4 types of love (eros, philla, working towards agape) to more of a phillia (friendship) and agape (unconditional) love…eros got left behind. Actually, I think now more than when I was in the relationships Agape has grown even further because the friendships are not riddled with expectation. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to choose not to love someone. What I can do..have learned to do is move forward when the relationship ends. To transfer the love from one compartment with one set of expectations to another. I know longer desire to marry the man that I thought I would marry. I know longer cling to the life we planned together…that is what I fell OUT of love with..that is what I chose not to love anymore..the idea of us. The story we had concocted. As far as choosing to no longer love another… I don’t think it happens. I think the love simply transforms. Those are my thoughts.

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for sharing and bringing up the 4 types of love. I’m curious to see if others will mention them as well.

  2. Michele Alston
    June 11, 2012

    **SPOILER WARNING

    I absolutely love this week’s excavation. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg is officially in my top five favorite musicals. It left me utterly perplexed and my mind riddled with questions. Why did Genevieve leave Guy with no explanation? She could have easily broke the news to him via mail. Why didn’t she ensure that her child had a relationship with the man that she claimed to love so much? Why did she leave Guy in the first place? With all of these questions at hand I began to question whether she truly loved Guy in the first place. Was it that she made a choice not to love him anymore and move on or is that she was, as her mother alluded to, just a silly girl in “puppy love”.

    Not only did Genevieve move on with no explanation but she made life changing decisions that not only directly affected Guy’s life but others in ways that go beyond self-centered. This doesn’t sound like love to me. Even though she lamented and mourned his absence as if she were in love, the bulk of her actions didn’t seem to speak to a deep rooted connection and selfless love for Guy.

    Genevieve seemed to be more in love with being in love than with the actual man.

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for watching and commenting! I think that based on Genevieve’s knowledge of love at 17, she loved Guy as much as she could. She had expectations that unfortunately he did not meet. This caused Genevieve to think Guy didn’t love her, and she settled with Roland.

      Had she been in the same situation 10 years later, I think she would have responded differently.

  3. I just recently got married in October. Every morning when I wake up, I make a conscious choice to love my husband. I knew I would never get married unless that marriage would be deeply rooted in truth and reflect something greater than myself, or my broken ability to love. Sure, there are feelings involved. Some days those feelings are romantic and wonderful, but, as is true with feelings, there are days that I have feelings of frustration, irritability, disappointment. And all of that is because I married another human being, as equally capable of error as I am. On the days when it’s romantic and wonderful and blissful, I have to choose to not wrap my identity solely into those wonderful moments. And on the days when I’m irritated, frustrated or disappointed, I have to choose to love, anyway. Just like in the broken society and communities we find ourselves in, we have to intentionally love, to choose to love those around us because it’s true and it’s real and it’s good. It’s the same, at least for me, in marriage. I read in a book called Sacred Marriage that there’s a very important reason why, when we get married, we make vows to one another. It’s because there will be moments in our marriages, that you can not foresee, when the vow, the promise to love is the only thing that holds you together. Think about it, we don’t need a vow to eat every day. We don’t vow to go to sleep. We don’t need a vow to hold to those things that are vital to our very survival. We vow in love because the vow is something we live into each and every day. It’s not just a testimony of how we feel, but a promise that we will always love, regardless of how we feel.

    • Nicole Yancey
      June 11, 2012

      Hi Melissa! Congrats on getting married!!! I love your response. If more couples understood this our marriages would be in a far better place. I agree that we make conscious choices to act in a way in which is loving day to day. Kenneth Hagin wrote a book on the art of love. Loving, your spouse, neighbor, the garbage collector, he leaves no stone unturned. The challenge is to make the CHOICE to walk daily in love.

      My question becomes, if one day you wake up and you do not put love into action, you are selfish, self-centered, demand your own way, have a jealous moment, keep a record of everything your husband did wrong on that day does that mean you no longer love him or on that day have you just failed to be loving towards him?

      I have been obsessed with love and the concept of being in love since I was a child. Billie Holiday recorded a song “Fine and Mellow” and in the lyrics she says “Love is just like a faucet, it turns off an on..” and as I kid and even now that didn’t seem right to me. While I believe we make conscious day to day decisions to be loving and caring..to be the personification of love in our relationships in those moments that we fail to do so..does that mean the love has been turned off. Is love like a faucet that can be turned off and on? What do you think?

      • I think that love is gracious, so when I have those days that I love poorly, I confess that to my husband and try again. I would say, in those moments I’ve failed to be loving toward him. I won’t fail to love him unless I walk away forever. I think the feelings or emotion of love are like a faucet that are turned off an on, for sure! But the feelings and emotions are just a part of it all. AND, your feelings and emotions are usually controlled by what you do. I have found that when I am thankful for my husband, that gratitude stirs my affections for him. But, I’ve only been married 10 months, so I’m no expert!

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Melissa, thanks for your comments and sharing a personal part of your life with us. I’ve never viewed vowing to spend eternity with someone as vowing to LOVE them for eternity. Thanks for making me think deeper.

  4. Green Tea
    June 11, 2012

    Love is a choice. In marriage, in life, in relationships, love is a choice. I’ve been hurt by many, my mother, father, brother, lovers, church folk, sisters, etc. and at the end of the day you decide who you will continue to love and or cut off. I think some folk are so mesmerized with the feelings and emotional aspect that they are blinded and can’t see their choice in the matter. When people do me wrong or get on my nerves and vice versa I make the choice to keep loving them….and i also make the choice to stop loving…well maybe not to stop loving but to set parameters around them or it may be a certain kind of love..

    I choose to love my husband, my friends, fam unconditionally that’s a choice. side bar you can still love someone and cut them off…

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for your comments Green Tea. Kudos to you for being in control of your emotions and not letting them dictate your behavior.

  5. Camille Brown
    June 11, 2012

    Peace & Blessings

    I don’t think Love is a choice, but the actions that accompany it are. we make a choice to ACT in whatever emotions we feel on a daily basis. If someone does something to make me angry, I don’t choose to be angry, I am human, we feel things, so becoming angry is an organic reaction, however I have a choice in how I act within that anger. The same goes with love, we choose to commit to, fulfill and sustain that with which we feel. We commit to allowing ourselves to be open to experiencing love, being loving in our actions, no matter the circumstances…

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for joining the convo Camille. I agree that we’re responsible for what takes place inside of our emotions.

  6. Michelle
    June 11, 2012

    Wow…. this week’s excavations is, um…DEEP! Yow! I honestly don’t fully agree that love is a choice. I honestly think that, even in times of divorce, abuse, neglect, distance, etc., you can still love a person, but you have to make hard choices that preserve your own safety, well-being and sometimes your sanity. And yes, I have been in situations where I had to make the tough decisions pertaining to those I loved. As far as your identity being in another individual…I’m not quite sure what my full thoughts are about that, but it sounds pretty dangerous! These are my thoughts for now. Peace!

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks Mitchy. Do you think that in circumstances of divorce that love just fades away on its own?

      • Michelle
        June 12, 2012

        Hmmmm…. I guess that’s where the “choice” part of love comes in to play. I’ve never been married nor divorced. But, I do think that amid feelings of hate and frustration, you can still choose to love. Love “fading away” does not sit well with me. I do not think I can agree that love “fades away.” You either choose to operate in it or not, regardless of how u feel. So, I guess love is a choice, but I think it has some feelings that go along with it. 🙂

      • Nicole Yancey
        June 14, 2012

        Hi Mitchy and PopE!!! I agree Mitchy! The things that fades in true love isn’t love but are the following chemicals: oxycontin, serotonin and dopamine. These are chemicals produced as one “falls in love” and “mate”. We are addicts. When that fades, people don’t FEEL like they are in love anymore but love isn’t simply a chemical high. Romantic love fades. True love does not.

  7. marklchampion
    June 11, 2012

    Love. True Love.

    This is an impossible place to be in. It is a wonderful destination to pursue. Life engaged towards Love is unlike any other option accessible to man. Besides: https://www.robbell.com/lovewins/

    One of the first conversations I had with my now wife was based off of this topic. Is Love a choice? I said yes and she said no. We may still agree to disagree, but I believe we have both accepted each other’s polar perspective and decided to meet somewhere in the middle.

    I’ve learned that when Love is defined as what I can get from a relationship, my life is in pursuit of the best giver of love. I become a consumer of the topic and will search the world wide to find the best giver of love. My journey is never complete, because there is always more love and better love from different sources. In this context, Love is an emotion, a determination of will, and even a reaction at times.

    However, if Love is defined as what I can give to a relationship, I am forever changed. My opportunity to Love is revealed as actually an identity. Not an adjective. Not a verb. A noun. I then choose to not only Love a spouse, but I also see how the gift of Love can be given to others.

    So, I still believe Love is a choice. However, it is from a place of identity and destination. Not only a description of a state of mind or an action that would take place.

    The place of choice for Love or not…deep in our inner man. Do we live out of Love or do we live out of self. There is the choice. This choice determines all interactions and relationships at each moment of intersection.

    PopExcavators comes from a place of Love, not of self. Thank you PE for letting us in on your choice!

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Mark thank you so much. It’s a beautiful truth that if we’re living out of self we can not live out of love. I’m grateful for your example man.

  8. Trevor Honeycutt
    June 11, 2012

    Wow, such a deep question. Hope it’s ok to “let it fly”. 🙂

    I believe that love is a person, and as we die to living OUR (selfish) life and live for-and-by HIS (sacrificing) life; then the true and fruitful substance and essence of real Love will multiply in our life/marriage/family/church/friendships/etc through the years. So, whether a relationship is infused with love, depends on the depth of each person’s relationship with Love (Jesus Christ). And an abiding relationship with Him definitely requires making the moment-by-moment choice to live by His (divine) life, over my (human) life.

    When the human emotions where off, and the honeymoon period is over, and it’s time to walk-out a six-decade+ relationship through seasons that seem like whole different lifetimes, including everything from unimaginable rejoicing and glory to deepest suffering and tragedy; then if they plan to make it, there better be people involved who know how to choose Love day-in-and-day out. Because it’s ONLY [Jesus’] Love that go beyond just holding something like that together, unto making it wonderful over the long-haul.

    I also believe that there is much idolatry in the romance that Hollywood portrays. If my security/identity/well-being/life/etc are supremely dependent on a relationship with another human being, then that human being has become my god; and the relationship will become increasingly toxic unto the death of it, if a grace-filled change isn’t made.

    Can’t wait to see the movie!…

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for that insight Trevor. When we think of love as a person it the whole conversation seems to change doesn’t it? I agree with what you said about Hollywood. Unfortunately the movie theater/magazines are where a lot of people are getting their ideas of what love is. What can we do to change that?

      • Trevor Honeycutt
        June 13, 2012

        “What can we do to change that?” – I see 2 angles from which to view this question. I’m sure there are other angles too, but these are just the 2 that I’m coming up with.

        1) Big picture – Hollywood is just part of the world system, and God has ordained that this system be in operation in this age, for His eternal purposes: and so we can’t do anything to force it to go away right now.

        2) Personal responsibility – Even though we can’t necessarily do anything to make it go away right now, we (Christians) are called to be light in a dark world, and the light overcomes the darkness (in smaller battles, and eventually in the overall war). So as we “do our part”, then we’re co-laboring with Christ to progressively bring-in His kingdom. By way of analogy, if we look as the world system as a “body”, and Hollywood as a “part of that body”; and we consider that the life of a body is in the flow of blood; then a way to kill a body is to stop the blood-flow. [The body’s life-flow is blood, Christ’s kingdom’s life-flow is the Holy Spirit, and the world system’s life-flow is money.] Cut off any of these flows, and the “systems” that depend on them will die.

        So, one way that “we can change that” is to do our part to decrease the life-flow to Hollywood by not spending our money to buy their products. And instead to strategically, consciously, and purposefully use it to fund the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. One-two punch!

      • PopExcavators
        June 13, 2012

        That is a hardcore 1-2 punch man! I agree that it all starts with personal responsibility. I’m going to add personal conviction in there as well. Several times in life I’ve found myself riding the convictions and beliefs of others. The waves came and my light went out.

  9. MsJazZY
    June 11, 2012

    Is love a choice? We were created by love to represent love and to love one another. What we do is exercise our rights to love someone other than family…even some of them are loved from a distance. Love is Excepting the fact that no one is perfect and will cause some heartaches and pain…that we can also exercise our rights to stop the heartache and pain. Again, learned behavior comes into play. What we grow up learning from our parents are often times carried into our relationships…good..bad, indifferent and that’s when our own idea of love comes in the picture…can this other idea of love be Excepted?

    Jerry Springer has a game show called, “Baggage”…the contestants are made aware of the players “crappy life’s decisions”…and have to decide by a process whether they can Except the baggage or not. By the end of the show the table is turned and the chosen one get to see the selectors “crappy life’s decision” and decide if they can “Except” their baggage.

    Baggage!! We all have some baggage that we drag from relationship to relationship…the contents are emptied after month 5 or so…before then the “something new is always exciting” high like a chocolate fix has our minds blown, cloudy and thinking, “we can do this we can do that…ohhh this is gonna be fun”…then around month 5 or so…the real appears and the “love” we think we have for one another has to decide…”can I Except this?” Once that decision is made to EXCEPT…that love turns into INFLUENCE. Can the love and tolerance shown change this situation…can it influence to do better…be better…etc?

    Many years ago I had a “Friend” nothing more or less…we enjoyed each other company…we Excepted each others baggage and kept it moving…BUT (the killer word) others they had their idea that it was more. One day my Mom with her mother insight asked him, “what is your intentions with my daughter?…you two are like oil and water.” Our intentions were very clear with each other…but her question sat right between us like a wedge…it changed the whole dynamics of our simple friendship. It gave him the idea that I wanted more and spooked him and had me looking at him with, “he’s not the one” eyes. Before then…we had NO expectations except sharing life’s joy that we had in common.

    Love is who we are…we decide to share and Except…and when necessary, move on. Best example of true love is that Best Friend that knows everything and never leaves the back uncovered. If we could/would select a mate like we select a best friend…life would be so great. Is love a choice? The main word is Choice…
    Life is full of choices and love is the highlight of life…if we can just EXCEPT that fact.

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      We were created by love to represent love and love each other. Love that.

  10. IP Freely
    June 11, 2012

    Love is not a choice but continuing to deal with those we love when times get rough is the choice. Many times people give up too quickly or hang on too long

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Thanks for your comment Ignacio. It’s easy to bail when times get hard huh?

  11. trilamjae
    June 11, 2012

    This movie was fantastic. I think Genevieve’s love for her child, and wanting to provide her with a stable and safe home moved her to choose Roland. I think she loved Guy, she just loved her baby more.

    Love is one of those elements that’s constantly evolving and our definition of love for someone or something changes based on what we are experiencing with them at the time. I don’t think love is a choice but I do think we make choices based on love.

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      You watched the movie! Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner! Haha….

  12. katynels
    June 11, 2012

    I think if you think of love as a gift that you give to someone, then it’s easier to make the leap that it is a choice– You can choose to give the gift of your love to a person or withhold it from them, or under some circumstances, find that your well has been emptied and you don’t have any love left.

    • PopExcavators
      June 11, 2012

      Cool angle. Thanks so much for commenting on both posts.

  13. Julie Champion
    June 12, 2012

    This question will always make me smile, since, as you saw, Mark and I got in some very pointed debates at the beginning of our relationship regarding this topic. You’ve created quite the dialog here, my friend! My initial reaction to the perspective of love being a choice was similar to yours when you were younger – Love is an emotion! You can’t choose who you fall in love with or control your own heart that way! I still think that in some aspects. However, after experiencing Christ in a new way, especially through marriage, I’ll confess to seeing it a little differently. Of course, there are times when it’s easy to love someone because of the emotion of it, but that emotion will go away at times. Whether in a friendship, marriage, anything. It’s then that we have to choose to love outside of ourselves and our emotions and move toward that person when we may not want to. It’s not about us individually, but the relationship as a whole. Without Christ, pride and selfishness and envy and jealousy all get in the way. In Him, none of those things exist. So choosing to live by His life leads only to love. But I’m still learning….

    • PopExcavators
      June 12, 2012

      Funny how your comment goes hand in hand with Mark’s! Your thoughts reminded me of how pure and untainted love is. This selfish version that we’re shown in movies/tv shows can’t be called love at all. Even for us to say that it’s a bad representation of love is defiling the word itself.

  14. Jason Ottley
    June 12, 2012

    It is in the attempt to capture and recapture the “feelings” of love where our society(Western culture) has lost the art of loving. The Law of Diminishing Return suggests that once you’ve experienced something great the first time, the attempt is to find ways to “feel” again what you felt the first time. Unfortunately, this does not happen because the chase is after a feeling and all emotions and feelings are fleeting at some point.

    I agree that love is a choice. It is a selfless act, a responsibility, a covenant. When it comes to marriage or eros love we need to incorporate agape love as well in order to get the most out of our marriages. If all marriages are based soley on eros love – all of those marriages have an expiration date at some point.

    Just my thoughts…

    • PopExcavators
      June 12, 2012

      Man I’m glad you mentioned the Law of Diminishing Return. In my life I’ve struggled with recapturing old feelings a lot. I’m grateful for you putting a name to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Nicole Yancey
      June 14, 2012

      Ahhhh…Jason. My co-laborer in all things relational :-). That is so true. I’ve never heard the term before but I do know it is like a plague. It’s very dangerous. It is the pre-cursor to a lot of marriages that should have never been. I had a friend who had just gotten out of a relationship that was headed towards marriage only to immediately, within a month, end up in another relationship where marriage was on the table within the first few weeks. When that ended two months later he admitted that there was no real connection in the second relationship. It had just started. He began to speak of marriage early because he was simply chasing after what he had left behind in fear in the relationship prior. He wanted the feeling, the rush without the work, time and effort that it takes to build a real relationship. It’s crazy and very easy to fall prey to this crazy chase.

      “If all marriages are based soley on eros love – all of those marriages have an expiration date at some point.” <<<<< LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

  15. Nadia
    June 12, 2012

    I believe love is an emotion, and this film displayed it in several forms. The two eventual couples felt love as the emotion, but had to make the choice about what to do about it. In my opinion, Genevieve was a 17 year old who went too far with her high school crush. At her mother’s prompting, she turned her back on her ” love ” while he was away serving his country. Guy loved Genevieve but did not give her the reassurances she needed to remain interested in him. He had to choose to stop carrying a torch for his lost love before it destroyed him. Roland, slightly older and on the rebound encountered ” love at first sight” and pursued the object of his affection, even though she “loved” another and Madeleine sat quietly pining away for the one she loved until he choose to notice her.

    Although love is emotionally driven; mutual trust, commitment, respect, maturity and friendship enables love to go the distance, as God intended.

  16. PopExcavators
    June 13, 2012

    I agree with every word you said regarding the film. Guy seemed to have a better understanding of what love was at that point. Upon returning from service he could have waited around forever. Instead he chose to love someone else, which is what he had to do. Thanks for watching the film.

    You mentioned that God intended love to “go the distance.” Can you explain that a bit more?

    • Nadia
      June 13, 2012

      Love going the distance refers to marriage, “till death do us part”. The Bible instructs married couples to cleave to each other and become as one. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.

      Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. This of course speaks of Christ love for us going the distance. Although He was betrayed, disappointed, abandoned, beaten and humilated by mankind, He still remained committed to complete the sacrifice that would bring reconciliation. God so loved the world that He gave His Son.

      Love going the distance is also shown in other relationships. We are taught to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to forgive 7 x70 times when offended. It doesn’t mean that we have to become doormats, but we should strive to embody the love of Christ.

  17. kristin
    June 13, 2012

    Man, I have been pondering this all week! And its still hard to put into words. I have been in your friends shoes. I was married for 7years and have two beautiful children. One day, my husband at the time, came home and dropped the “i dont love you ball” on me.
    Here is my best shot at answering your question.
    I agree with Nicole’s answer from above. “It depends what kind of love your talking about” Is there two kinds of love? Is love an emotion? Can you turn it on and off? I believe true love is a series of choices that you get emotional about. It is not an accident. It doesnt last because of how you feel about eachother, but rather, your dedication to eachother. You have to CHOOSE to be dedicated and commited to eachother. I beleve a series of emotions leads us to that choice. So, if love is a choice, you can choose the opposite as well.
    In your friends case, and also mine, our spouses choose to not love or be commited to us anymore.
    Do I still love my ex-sspouse? To understand that you have to understand love as defined in God’s word. Jesus commands us to love with an agape love. He goes on to say love is the most important commandment. We are taught all throughout the bible what love is. The most quoted is 1 Cor 13:1-13, where it tells that love is patient, kind, not arrogant, does not seek its own, rejoices in truth, bears, hopes and believes all things- endures all things.
    My ex-spouse choose not to love me and became the opposite of the definition above. This led me to a decision. I had to decide if I would still love him, regardless of a divorce.
    Do I still have those “love” emotions towards him? No, I had a choice in that as well. I choose to give those feelings to the Lord and allow Him to heal me. Do I still love my ex-spouse? Yes. I love him wtih the defintion of what God says about love. That too is my choice. I had every right to be the opposite of that defintion towards him, but i choose not to , I choose the Lord and what he commands of me .

    • PopExcavators
      June 13, 2012

      Kristin thank you so much for sharing those personal details. You mentioned 1 Cor 13:1-13. How do you think those characteristics are developed? Do we choose to love someone and they form as a result of that choice? Or do we choose to practices those characteristics and in turn love forms?

      • kristin
        June 14, 2012

        i believe we choose to practice those characteristics and in turn love forms. i had to daily (and sometimes by minute) make a conscience choice to have a love that was not jealous, proud, wanting revenge etc. It is so easy to live in the flesh and want an eye for an eye, it is another thing to give those to the Lord, and have those feelings replaced my Gods definition of love. God said that love is the greatest. Imagine what love would be like if people made a daily conscience effort to love with such a way as it says in Corinthians. God is so great at exchanging! You can give God your dirt, and he exchanges it for gold!

  18. catastrophictaraness
    June 13, 2012

    As a child a had to choose to love my parents thru their flawed and neglectful parenting. As and adult I chose to stop loving one of them all together due to the severe toxicity of the relationship.

    Going thru a long seperation, and then a reconciliation and now a divorce…. I can honestly say, prove, explain, and defend that love is absolutely a choice. But it’s something we feel as well. And it doesn’t always feel like butterflies and rainbows- sometimes it feels like compromise and bitten tongue. Love is a choice.

    Christ was not commanded to love us. He chose to. If love was not a choice then we would not have free will. But it is a choice and we have free will to choose it or not.

    • PopExcavators
      June 13, 2012

      Your words come with much conviction behind them. Thank you so much for sharing. The issue of free will is something that hasn’t been mentioned yet in this dialogue and I’m glad you brought it up. Curious to see what others how others feel about free will as it relates to this topic.

  19. blakesmart
    June 14, 2012

    Love is God. God is love. Therefore, love is everything. Is love a choice? Yes and no. Love is not a choice in the sense that we are created by God, in his image. And therefore we all possess it. It is a choice in how we respond to it based on outward stimuli. Is love an emotion? Yes and no. It is in the sense that emotions can have an effect on love. It is not in the sense that love is not the emotion itself. At least I hope not, because emotions are often reactionary and rather fleeting. Emotional love only would make us very volatile, which we are, but we have more control than that. We must sometimes mediate ourselves.

    • Nicole Yancey
      June 14, 2012

      Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! I love it! It is almost as if “Is love a choice?” is a trick question. In our minds we immediately want to give a yes or no answer and then state our case. The thing is just as God is unable to fit in a box neither can love…because God is love.Agape love never fails so you can’t turn that one off. I think as one attempts to answer the question we automatically pick a portion of love or a type of love and give an answer. If love is simply a choice then sign me up for the class that teaches us all how to turn that joint off. There are plenty of people out here with gaping empty places where the death of a loved one left them raw. If we can just “turn it off and on” then let’s put the 10 step program in an ebook and make some loot. I’m trying to go to study abroad for a semester..let’s get busy! We will make BILLIONS.;-) If it is SIMPLY a choice, divorces would be painless, death would have no emotional sting, betrayal, adultery, lies…wouldn’t affect us because “love is like a faucet…it turns off and on”. But the thing is…that is not the case. There is no magical switch. HOWEVER, it is the case in some parts of what love it is and does… It’s the same on the flip side to say NO, love is not a choice means that I will wake up every day and love my husband on auto pilot. I will always be patient, kind, giving and selfless because I have NO choice in the matter. Well..we all not that’s not happening…lol…I’m human. I’m saying all this to say that love is HUGE. AND there are various parts of love that have to be addressed when answering questions about love. Love is anything but black and white.

    • PopExcavators
      June 15, 2012

      Thanks for your comments Blake. You mentioned that emotions are often reactionary and fleeting. Do you let emotions get involved in your relationships at all?

      • blakesmart
        June 17, 2012

        Emotions are always involved. They are a part of soul life. We all possess souls. Some are more sensitive than others. Some have hardened themselves to things. But both of those are emotions nonetheless. I personally am a rather fragile person by nature. Though I believe that by the Spirit I have learned to mediate those emotions better by using the wisdom of the Spirit to realize why such emotions are happening and reason through them.

  20. ksparq
    June 14, 2012

    Who knew the excavations would get so deep – so soon? In light of my recent situation & the fact that this excavation of pop doesn’t involve grooves, stylish chest hair, or bell bottoms – I am forced to give a serious response… In certain circumstances, yes, for one’s own health it can be necessary to have to intentionally CHOOSE not to love someone. In fact, it sounds like in your friend’s situation (as well as mine) that it is not only healthy, but it proves (if for none other than the person having to make that choice and their eventual closure) that they are honorable and have done all they could do to “save” the love – which we all know is not something ultimately in our hands to control. It doesn’t mean that they have to hate the other person – and it certainly doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t continue to love them if certain circumstances did not force an end to romantic ties. But that’s just it. Love covers a multitude, & we as Christians certainly shouldn’t judge others (b/c we know better & know who’s really in charge), but sometimes extreme situations call for extreme measures. Choosing to “dis”love someone is pretty damn extreme, I wouldn’t recommend it – probably one of the hardest things on earth to do on MULTIPLE levels – but sometimes so necessary. …and by the way, not that there’s ever “sides” in relationships, but in this scenario – even though one may be forced to do this for their own health – no one really “wins.” Sometimes “the best thing to do” doesn’t mean there still aren’t consequences (as mentioned in the blog post) for all parties involved. I had to make the choice to move on, I was FORCED to – but had to, for the benefit of my well being, but even though I am MUCH better off there are and will be scars…

  21. Henriette
    June 15, 2012

    Another great post! Do I think love is a choice? I don’t think love is a choice, I don’t believe we choose who we love. I also don’t believe love is enough to sustain a relationship. I have personally been in situations where I deeply loved someone, but ultimately there were other issues that created an unsuccessful relationship. The relationship ended because it needed to, not because of a lack of love. Ultimately I agree with the many comments about love and about the different types of love. When a relationship ends, I think it is impossible to say the love also ends. Love is not a light that can simply be switched on or off. You asked me to post an excerpt I shared on instagram, so here it is: (Excerpt from “Everything Happens for a Reason by Mira Kirschenbaum <—- GREAT BOOK)

    "Real love is not just how you feel about your partner. It’s much more how your partner makes you feel about yourself.

    Real love is not about losing yourself in your partner. It’s about becoming true to yourself with your partner.

    Real love is not about how great your partner is. It’s about how great you can become alongside your partner.

    Real love is not just about how much you love your partner. It’s about how your partner helps you love yourself.

    Real love is not just about your partner finding room in his or her heart for you. It’s about your partner finding room in his or her life for your energy, drive, ambition, passions, interests, and needs.

    Real love is not just based on how good your partner is “deep down.” It’s based on how you actually experience your partner’s goodness as you live your life together.

    Real love is not based on how your partner makes you hungry to be with him or her. It’s based on how much your partner makes you feel at home when you are with each other.

    Real love is not about the love you say you share. It’s about the life you really do share, fully, equally, deeply.

    Real love is about treating your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

    Real love is about falling in like."

  22. Rosetta
    June 16, 2012

    ” We have no friends, and we never speak to the neighbors.” …one of my favorite lines from the movie. Also ” I would have died for him. Why aren’t I dead? “Both are comments I myself have made. Life goes on..We weather the storms and move on. She was pregnant and afraid! She never stopped loving him. Rather than risk rejection and raising a child alone and with no resources, she took the safe path with Roland. Guy was a wild card. Practical reality took over and her identity that she so willingly gave to Guy as a young girl was being transformed by the new life growing inside her. When a woman is pregnant, the nesting instinct takes over. Roland unconditionally loved her and wanted to take care of her and her baby and it was what..1959? So all this talk of choice is too simplistic under the circumstances. I love the ending, at the gas station. I think it was circumstances, not choice that determined the paths they took. And I suppose there are different kinds of love that one may experience at different times in one’s life.Of course we all remember the first passionate one ( if we ever really experience it ). How to move on from that one if it ends is incredibly difficult. Then how not to measure all future romance against that one. I love the quotes from Mira Kirschenbaum..Real Love. So ideal…

    • PopExcavators
      June 17, 2012

      Those two quotes from the film left an impact on me as well. Your comments got me thinking… The love one person has for another is a very personal thing. Its easy to look at a person’s actions and try to estimate the amount of love that is there, but we really can’t do that. Thanks for the reminder.

  23. Lisa Lingani
    June 23, 2012

    My experiences have lead me to believe, you have a choice in loving a person to an extent and then removing your emotions from the equation. I have been in relationships where I was abused and still loved my husband, because being a child of God..I knew that you are to forgive and move forth ,and still treat that person as you would want to be treated. I believe we can stop loving a person,, but in all fairness we will still care for that person, because it’s our nature to wonder”what are they doing.. or who are they seeing blah blah blah.. I’m like a water faucet.. if you pay the bill( keeping me happy n content) i will flow(love you forever)… if you fall behind on a payment.. my love will halt temporarily and when you neglect to pay the full bill for months.. well don’t bother turning on that faucet lol.. I’m all dried up :0 Love is a choice and can ne turn on and off..it’s the emotions that keep resurfacing from the heart…

  24. Chad
    June 25, 2012

    What’s isn’t talked about here is that wonderful tune: “Watch What Happens” comes from this movie!

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This entry was posted on June 10, 2012 by in Reel and tagged , , , , .
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