What is Love?

What is Love? (Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more)

Okay, sorry, I couldn’t resist.

But really, I have been thinking about that.  What does it mean to love?  To be “in love”?  Love is often referred to as a feeling, but is that what it really is?  If you look to Hollywood, it is.  It’s fleeting, changing, circumstantial, perishable, and exchangeable.  People “fall out of love”, their “interests” change, they “don’t feel that way about them anymore”.  No wonder we end up thinking of Love as a feeling, an emotion.

As I have watched people in relationships, thought about my past relationships, and seen the progression of my marriage, I really have changed my perspective on “Love”.  I think back to what I FELT about different people through the years, and there were a couple people I FELT in love with.  I really thought of love as a feeling.  Don’t get me wrong, feelings are a part of Love, but we can’t base the foundation of a relationship on a feeling.  Maybe it starts that way, but what would happen if we base our relationships solely on feelings?  You know what happens- we see examples of it everywhere.  Broken hearts, broken families, broken people.  Granted, there are plenty of reasons for broken hearts/families (I am not saying every situation falls in this category)  but I wonder what kind of change it would make if more people saw Love as an action?

Even until recently I still saw love as a feeling.  Having children changes your perspective on things.  It gives new depths to old ideas.  Of course, I love my children, but what all does that entail?  Doing what is best for them?  Saying NO?  Teaching them how to be the person God wants them to be?  

Love is a choice.  Love is a sacrifice.  Love is a commitment.

Feelings fade.  Feelings change.  Feelings LIE.

Wow.  That one was a big one for me to learn.  I am such a “feeler”, I am very emotional, and I have trusted my emotions all my life.  But, as I have seen, emotions fade, change.  Love, is sacrifice.  Love is not about how you feel.  Although Love can produce feelings, and can be emotional, it is SO hard not ot confuse Love as an emotion.  I think that is what we don’t realize.  That is one reason people don’t stay together- feelings fade, come and go- so when those feelings are gone, what are we left with?  

Love is a choice, every day.

This is not some unknown revelation.  God’s Word clearly describes and demonstrates Love.

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This is so often quoted that I think sometimes we lose the meaning.  Look at Jesus’ life.  Do we honestly think He didn’t have feelings contrary to His actions?  He was human, he was God.  So He had to be conflicted.  But He CHOSE.  He chose to serve people.  He chose to be there for people.  He sacrificed his life for us.  Our sins, our selfishness, our offenses, separate us from God.  He loved us SO much that He made the choice to die, rather than see us separated from Him.  WOW.  I forget that sometimes- the power in those words.  

Love is a choice.  Love is a sacrifice.  Love is a commitment.

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