On a previous post, I Want To Know What Love Is, I talked about love as a feeling and how difficult it is to describe that feeling. In that post, I said, “not one time does the Bible refer to love as being something you feel.”
But after saying that and reading 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 has to also be a feeling. It is that thing inside causing us to say, “I love you and I want to marry you.”
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? Wouldn’t the Lord want us to enjoy the way we feel as long as our feelings don’t control us? 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 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.”
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. It’s easy to think we would do that in a moment of crisis. But we have the opportunity every day to lay down our lives simply by serving 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. It’s my choice to 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 by simply going for a drive together.
When I can I 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 so we can spend some much-needed time together.
We have the choice to love with feeling.
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. It’s our 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. 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.
So Choose Love!
Make it your choice every day in every relationship you have!
Create habits of choosing love in everything you do and everywhere you go!
Make choosing to love your lifestyle!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net