Love (is not...)

Original Published Date: February 10, 2018


Been thinking a lot about Love lately. Of course Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and there are chocolate hearts everywhere, and all that has me considering how confusing and inaccurate our picture of love has become.

Love is not an emotion. Love often carries many emotions with it- some pleasant, some not- but love is not a feeling we have. It is a decision to seek the best for another. It is at times gentle and soft, when that is best for the other. It is also direct and challenging, when that is best. Sometimes love offers a gift and other times it sets a boundary.

It does not fade- feelings fade. Commitments stick. You can choose to love when you don’t feel like loving because love is a decision. Decision can always trump desire. Desire is what we want, what we “feel like doing” and you know what? You may want to hold a grudge, shut them out, shut down, lash out, pout, judge or leave. But you can decide to love anyway. To stay, talk, pray, humble yourself, apologize, serve, forgive.

It is not easy but ultimately love, because it is from God, leads to good- for us and others. But sometimes you have to walk a hard journey to get there. But if it is real love, the kind God has for us, it will always be worth the sacrifice. This is true in parenting, friendship and marriage. Don’t let this world cheapen the beauty of power of love in any relationship by reducing it to how you feel. Love is the most powerful force in our world and it is what the Bible says “compels us” who are followers of Christ to die to ourselves and serve others. It is beauty and power to see love in action and it’s available to every person to receive from God and offer to others- and not just on February 14.