Jun 13, 2017

What I Learned From The Sound of Music

Several months ago, I commented on the power of languages. (read here)  They hold secrets that are often only discovered in a deep, diligent search.  Sometimes there are words in other languages that simply cannot be translated to one English word because they hold deeper meaning.

In English, the word "love" has so many flippant meanings.  We love our pet goldfish.  We also love chocolate, our best friend, our siblings (sometimes, that is), our possessions, our gifts... and oh yeah, we love God too.

I like how the Greek language writes out love.  Instead of a "one word fits all" thing, there are different words for different types of love.  Philia is a brotherly love such as affection or friendship.  Eros is a passionate, romantic love.  Storge is like a familiar love... such as love shown between friends, parents and children, pets and owners, etc.  But my favorite is the last one.  Agape is a sacrificial love like the Love God showed us on the cross that day long ago.

Now I don't know anything about the Greek language (correct me if I made an error in my interpretations), but I think it's interesting to consider.  Is our love merely a brotherly love?  Or are we willing to make sacrifices?  Is our love for God and others a love that can never be broken?  Can it last through every trial, storm, and drought?

I assume that most of you have watched The Sound of Music, a musical based during the time of World War II.  If not, I'll let you know in advance that I will be sharing spoilers.  Read on at your own risk.  ;)

This movie is secular. (Yes, despite the nuns, I don't think the movie was created with the intention of sharing Biblical truth.)  Despite that, I learned from watching it.

Maria is a - unique - nun who doesn't really fit in an Abby.  She ends up becoming a governess for a household of seven children and is worried to discover that many governesses before her have experienced trouble with the children.  Throughout the story, Maria encounters resistance from them, hostility and resentment from the widowed father, and, despite her best efforts, is completely embarrassed and mortified on several occasions with the father.  His strictness and displeasure towards her is obvious.

But what happens throughout the story?  Maria ends up turning the household upside down.  She has a servant's heart and brings joy to the children's lives.  And, of course, the father falls in love with her and they eventually live happily ever after as husband and bride.

As I was thinking about that story, I wondered what it would have been like if I had been Maria.  I'm very sure that I would have quit the job right away instead of humbly accepting undue blame and criticism.  I would not have bowed my head to an unloving man and shown him the respect that Maria did.  The end of the story would have been much different, and likely I wouldn't have made a difference in the broken family.

But she did.  Why?  What was different about Maria?

Although the story isn't a Christian one, I think Maria displayed a sense of Godly humility, love, and joy.  She resolved within herself to become a servant.  Instead of demanding her own rights, Maria spent her time trying to improve the lives of the children by bringing songs back into their home.  And the story was beautiful.

We have a quote on our wall that summarizes it well in my opinion.

Are we like Maria, sending joy everywhere we go?  Is our love a selfless, others-centered love?

Paul the apostle wrote a verse that stood out to me in this area.  I know this post is already growing long, so I'll try not to tarry too much longer here.  =)
"Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith."  - 1 Timothy 1:5
During the summer months we are focusing on loving others.  But it's important that our love isn't "me" focused.  

  • Is our love from a pure heart? What are our secret motives?
  • Do we have a good conscience? Are there wrongs we haven't cleared up or are we offended at someone? 
  • Do we have sincere faith? Do we not only have love for others but also a passionate love for Christ?

As we strive to develop a heart that loves, perhaps these questions can evaluate why we do the things we do.  Let's resolve to have Godly humility, love, and joy - an agape type of love - towards God and others.  Let's have a life that radiates Christ's joy to everyone around us.

Put yourself in Maria's position; would you have responded in a similar manner?  How can you make steps today to have a selfless love for others?  Comment below!

(ps)  This same week a year ago, I actually posted a blog post that was on a similar topic.  =)  (good timing, right?)  You can read it here.


  1. Great post! We take love for granted, we forget what true sacrificial love is. And yes, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be selfless and loving if I was in Maria's position. Something to think about, to be loving, selfless, and humble all the time.... not just when it's easy to do so.
    Well it was a great post, keep living for Jesus.


    1. Sarah, I think that true Love is selfless and humble, don't you? 1 Corinthians 13 lists the many aspects of what Love is, and the love describe there is not what I often think of when I say, "I love you"! When we tell that to our parents, siblings, and friends, do we really mean it? Would we really be willing to sacrifice ourselves for them? Or is our "love" not really Love at all? I wonder how the world would be different if we had the right definition for love...

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sarah! Writing posts like this helps me to examine areas I am weak in, and I appreciate your encouragement. =)

    2. Very true, true Love is selfless and humble. Jesus Christ demonstrated that love on the cross. And yes, we often forget what the definition of love is.

    3. That's such a beautiful, glorious expression of Love: Jesus' sacrifice. ♥ Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wonderful thought on this, Hosanna! I have recently been doing a little exploring into some Hebrew and Greek words for a project I'm currently working on, but by no means am I an expert! However, like you said, it is very fascinating and helpful how both languages have different words for different types of love, like agape and phileo, hesed and 'ahabah, etc. Learning about the different kinds of love described by these words is very challenging (in the makes-you-want-to-do-something-about-it kind of way, not the hard-to-understand kind of way, if that makes sense. :)
    Again, wonderful thoughts on this! I like how you connected the themes from The Sound of Music to the topic of love. =)
    Keep on shining for Him! ♥

    1. Exploring Hebrew and Greek can be fascinating, Emily! =) I agree that it makes you want to do something... and I wonder how we can help show what true Love is according to the Bible. Society warps words and ideas, and we need to bring our minds back to the Word of God. How do you think we can take that first step and begin to show others what Love really means?

      Perhaps it starts with examining our own lives. Are we willing to make sacrifices and serve our siblings and parents? Will we give up our rights and time for others? What do you think, Emily?

    2. Very true! It does start with our own lives, and those daily sacrifices for others. Denying ourselves daily, like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15. If Christians started doing that more often, the world would certainly begin to see a change!

    3. But denying ourselves is so hard, Emily! ;) I agree though. If we lived each day for others instead of ourselves it would be an example of what Love really looks like. But what's the balance? Because we do have to accomplish things, take care of ourselves, and work towards goals sometimes, right? Do you think it is possible to ever serve others too much? =)

  3. Wonderful post, Hosanna! Definitely true...it would be difficult to be like Maria in her selflessness. I love that part of the story...:) It is so true that selfless love is really hard...and yet that is the exact kind of love Jesus showed us on the cross and shows us each day! ♥

    1. Isn't that beautiful, Hannah? The Love Jesus shows us is beyond words. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed realizing how much He Loves us in a sacrificial, amazing way - and we don't even deserve it. ♥♥

      It makes me wonder... do we truly Love Him in return? Would we be willing to die for Him? What about dying to self for Him every single day? I do love Jesus so much... but I wonder if my love is that true Love described in 1 Corinthians 13. That Love is harder, but it's so much more beautiful. I pray we all "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

  4. GREAT POST MAH FREN. <333 I noticed that quote that you posted... "be so happy that when other people look at you they feel happy too." We've got next-door neighbors who are like that--and I feel pretty lucky to have people like that so close by. <333
    In Maria's position, I don't think I would have responded in that way. I would probably have given up on my job, or not loved them at all--rather, I probably would have either been terrified of the family, and not achieve what Maria did! But there is no fear in love. <333
    I feel like Project Love has been going better for me, so if you've been praying, the prayers are (slowly, hehe) being answered! *cheers* And by better, I mean doing works of service for others...but my problem is I feel like the heart condition isn't right. If I can keep better track of the way I've been loving others, it helps! But the thing is (and I might post a vlog where I talk about this) it can't merely be a list that makes me feel good about what I did--because this whole thing isn't about me. It's got to be about God being glorified and others being blessed, and yet I feel like I'm not having that perspective near as much as I should. How has Project Love been going for you, m'dear?

    1. It's wonderful that you know someone who lives that quote out, Ariel! It is rare to find people who actually take the effort to smile and resonate joy to others, but they sure are a blessing! ♥

      I love that verse you referred to: "There is no fear in love.
      But perfect love casts out fear." If we have fear, doesn't that mean we don't trust God enough?

      Ah, yes. Love starts with an inward change, doesn't it? It's like another quote says, "You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." -Amy Carmichael But it's two-fold. We definitely need to have the right motives and heart... but sometimes we also need a list to remind ourselves. Both are vital in good relationships. =)

      Ah, I wish you asked me this question yesterday because I was doing really well at Project Love. ;) My relationship with God has been so good, and it spills over into my relationships with friends and family. But today has been a longer, more busy/stressful day... so not so good. Overall, things have been better though. Loving God and family has been great, and I want to extend it to loving people beyond that - aka, strangers. I have some ideas I want to get into the practice of doing again. Maybe I could write a post about that to motivate myself?? ;)

      Love you, Ariel! Thank you for your constant encouragement. ♥


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