On a previous post, I Want To Know What Love Is, I made the statement, “not one time does the bible refer to love as being something you feel.” But after saying that and reading some things in the word this week I had to go back and edited that line. It now reads, “Not one time does the bible refer to love as something you only feel.” The important change I made was adding only.
I had to make that change because to be honest love is something we also feel. It is that thing inside us that causes us to say things like, “I love you and I want to marry you,” and “I have loved you for a very long time.” And when we do something that shows our love we explain, “I did it because I love you.”
So I just want to make sure I’m very clear that it is good for us to feel love, just as I’m sure Jesus felt love when He said to His disciples, “just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love.” (John 15:9) And there were many times He saw the people and had compassion, or love for them. Also, the way John referred to himself as being the disciple that Jesus loved, referring to the way Jesus felt about him.
After all, were we not created to have feelings? And would the Lord not want us to enjoy the way we feel as long as we do not let our feelings have the final control? Again, I believe the Lord wants us to feel love and to enjoy strong feelings of love.
But I also know that the Bible strongly teaches us that Love Is More Than A Feeling, It’s Also A Choice.
Jesus gave us a command to love.
John 13:34-35 “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
John 15:12-13 “My commandment is this—to love one another just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.”
Luke 6:27-28 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
Love is a choice in two ways
- We have the choice to love with our actions.
When we love with our actions we are proving our love to be more than just words. As Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for one another. That’s easy to think we would do in a moment of crisis where we would put ourselves in harm’s way in order to save another person.
But we also have the opportunity everyday to lay down our lives by giving up what we want in order to serve someone else’s need. We can choose to put their needs above our needs. We can choose to put their desires above our desires.
I can choose to love my wife in a way that matters to her. I can do the things she needs me to do around our home. I can do the thing she wants us to do together. I have the choice to speak her love language, which is quality time, by simply going for a drive just to get out of the house.
I can choose to love my wife in the way I open a door for her. I can choose not to walk off and leave her when we get to church, the way I use to. I can choose to give up watching the big game I have been wanting to see because we need to talk or just spend some much-needed time together.
- We have the choice to love with our feelings.
Our emotions can be unstable at times. We feel a certain way one minute then the next we feel completely different. Sometimes the change in how we feel comes for no apparent reason and other times we know why our feelings changed.
The important thing is to know we have the power to choose how we feel. We can choose to be happy even in the most difficult situations. We have a choice to be angry or sad if we want to. We have the choice to feel negative and cynical all the time or we can choose to be hopeful and positive.
Knowing that love is a choice makes a huge difference in our lives because when we are not feeling love we can choose to love and the feelings will follow. Those feelings of love may not come right away, but if we nurture them in the right environment that will allow them to grow, they will.
We can choose the way we see our spouse and put away the critical, judgmental thoughts that cloud our view. We can choose to remember and focus on the good qualities that attracted us to our spouse in the first place. We can choose to appreciate the changes they make to be a better person. We can even choose to appreciate what we believe to be in their heart even when their actions are showing something different.
One final word from the word’s the Lord spoke through Moses.
Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
So Choose!!!!! Love.
Question: In what way do you choose to show your love? Leave us a comment.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net