As we reflect on the damages of post 2/14 and see what we did well (I think the flowers, card, and pampering gift card was a nice touch) and what we could have done better (planned earlier and diamonds always nice touch). I figured this would be as good a time as any to address that funny thing called “love.”
I think the best way to address this is from the two different lenses. And for us Christians as we know, there really are only two lenses. Through the lens of a fallen world or through the lens of scripture.
The world defines love as an emotion. An emotion that just takes us over and we have no control over. We have all heard it said:
The heart wants what the heart wants!
We fell in love.
We fell out of love, or we just grew apart.
Cupid shot his arrow and it hit me.
We are soul mates and we’re destined to be together…. Even though I’m an atheist and don’t believe in God or a soul.
It’s no wonder with this foolish worldly way of thinking that most relationships are a train wreck waiting to happen.
If we govern our lives by our emotions, what a horrible roller coaster ride through life.
If love is an emotion, and something you fall into. What happens when that emotion changes. Or what happens when you feel that same emotion for someone else? Someone prettier? Someone skinnier? Someone richer. Someone with more hair? Someone with better abs? Someone who doesn’t chew with their mouth opened?
Perhaps I’ve shared too much.
Perhaps you get the picture.
But do you get the point?
Evidently most of the world does not, which is why more than half of marriages end in divorce. The other half of the half, sadly, just cannot stand each other and stay together for other reasons such as loyalty, financial, comfort, for the kids, or for image.
Isn’t it romantic?
Ironically, even the most pagan of wedding ceremonies incorporate the famous 1 Corinthians 13 Bible verse:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Which leads us to the other way to love others. God’s way of love, as viewed through the lens of scripture.
Love is not an emotion, as our emotions deceive us. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love is a person.
That is why God’s greatest commandment is that you shall Love the Lord your God with what? With ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength. Not with your emotions.
LOVE IS A CHOICE
Every single day you wake up you have to make a conscious choice. You choose to love your spouse today, or to not love your spouse today. Just as you choose to have an affair, or not have an affair. You choose to stalk your ex on Facebook, or you choose to not stalk your ex on Facebook.
For us husbands, we are called to love our wives as Christ loves the Church. Not because she deserves it or doesn’t deserve it. Not because she earned it or didn’t earn it. Not because we want something in return. No, we are called to display the Gospel through our marriage.
LOVE IS A VERB
Love is not only a choice, it is also a verb. An action verb. It takes an active will of the mind, to love our spouse sacrificially. To lay down our life for our spouse. To serve our spouse. To encourage and build up our spouse. To Pray for and pray with. To cleanse with the Word. These are all action items, not feelings….nothing more than feelings.
Lastly, and most importantly, love IS NOT an emotion. Love IS a person.
LOVE IS A PERSON
Love is a person and the work of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is patient and kind.
Jesus does not envy or boast.
Jesus is not arrogant or rude.
Jesus most certainly does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
Jesus endured all things.