Love Happens. Respect is Work.
Love starts a relationship. Respect is the glue that holds it together. Happy families, I believe, are more about respect than they are about love. Respect for each person in the family - between parents, between parent and child, and between siblings.
Love gets all the good press because it's above us, beyond us - something tinged with magic and supernatural power. It just happens - romantic love is all about that glance, that moment, that spark. With our children it's that moment when they are placed in our arms. Overwhelming love that just happens - no work to it. So, being outside our control, we place Love on a pedestal and worship it.
Respect - well, in the words of Rodney Dangerfield - it don't get no respect. Why? Because we understand it so very well. There's not even a tad of magic. It's all about thinking and being aware and working and standing your ground and being humble and saying "I'm sorry" or "You let me down" or "I can't do that". It's not shiny and pretty. You can't get it, without giving it. You can't get it, without earning it. Getting it is hard, ugly, dirty work and once you have it - you can still loose it at a moments notice.
Like I said earlier, I believe Happy families are more about respect than they are about love. What do you think?