Recently we took a look at the word love as an action verb in the posts here and here.
Those conversations remind us that simply speaking the language of love isn’t the same as living love the way 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 illustrates. Today, I’m going to share with you a different truth: love is a decision we make.
Entertainment vs. Reality
Pop culture would have us believe that love is something that happens to us. We have no say in the matter. What messages about love are in the movies, books and music we consume? A certain someone crosses our path and we fall head-over-heels. I dare say that it’s a romantic notion many of us feel drawn to in one way or another. But friends, that’s not love. It may be physical attraction, or it may be some combination of physical and emotional interest. It isn’t, however, true love.
Falling vs. Choosing
Think about the crush you had on that kid in your high school geometry class. Maybe you felt like you couldn’t breathe, or like the world just got knocked off balance when that classmate looked your way. If the two of you began to date, you may have gone through the early relationship infatuation stage. We might even label those feelings “falling in love.” And then the feelings are gone. You’ve lost the connection and no longer (if ever) see a future.
True love goes beyond the initial stomach full of butterflies. True love, you see, makes the choice to act lovingly even when we’re not feeling it. Love is making the decision to be kind, to be patient, to trust and to hope. Love makes the choice to push aside envy and pride. It decides to give up the grudge and to forgive. It’s not always an easy choice, granted, but it most certainly is a choice.
How often do we hear ourselves, or others, lament that we’ve fallen out of love with our spouse? Did we really fall out of love or have we decided to wait passively for the infatuation to return? The good news is that you can decide to love instead of passively wait.
Challenge: This week, make the decision to love even when you’re not feeling it. Next week I’ll share some ways you can choose love. In the meantime, hit the comments below and share what choices you’ve made.