We've all heard it. “Love one another.”
That is hard. I'm not an expert on love. Not even close. But I do know Love Himself and He has been teaching me about this beautiful, magnificent thing we call love.
Love is not just a feeling.
This statement may not be a surprise to you. "Love is not a feeling" has been floating around for many a Valentine's days now to make you question the bubbly feeling you get around a certain someone. But did you notice that small word I threw in there? Love is not JUST a feeling. Love is indeed a feeling. It's an emotion we feel when we are attracted to another, whether that be friend or "lover." We have feelings of love towards these people. These feelings tell us they are important and we want to care for them.
But that's not all love is.
Love is also a choice.
What happens when the one you love becomes upset and says something regretful? What happens when you are hurt by the one that those "warm fuzzy feelings" told you you loved-- what if they hurt someone else? What happens when those feelings aren't as strong or--dare I say-- what happens when those feelings are gone? Does that mean you didn't love this person? Love is not just a feeling. Love is a choice. When you choose to love someone, you will love him/her no matter what their reaction is.
My last statement may be new to you: Love is also an attitude.
If your attitude is not right-- if it is not loving, if you don't want to love the other person, then choosing to love them isn't really choosing. It's faking. I don't want the message of love to be "I have chosen to love you because I have to love you so now I'm just loving you only because I said I would." Gracious, how UN-loving it is when you say it that way! If you are “loving” out of a place of obligation or resentment, you aren’t truly loving!
Now, HOW you love someone is completely personal. Just know if you are truly loving someone-- which would abide by what God has commanded you to, there will be a sacrifice involved. Sometimes big, sometimes small. You may sacrifice your time to be there for that person you’re loving. You may even sacrifice time with that the one you love because it is in their best interest. Or you may have some resources that you needed, but you gave them up so that the one you’re loving could have enough. The list of sacrificial love continues on and on.
Yes, love is sometimes a feeling, but it is most importantly an attitude of choice. And the only way we can learn to love better is to grow closer to Love Himself. Jesus showed us the ultimate act of love when He died on the cross to take our place. But His perfect love didn’t end there. He continues to love you though you sin. He loves you still when you push Him away. He loves you when yell at Him in angry tears. Let Him fill your life with love so that it overflows into the lives of those around you.
May I encourage you to thank those who have loved you faithfully? No need to be poetic or long-winded, but be genuine. Say thank you in a way that you never have before.
And show those you care about that you have eagerly chosen to love them too.
God is enough,
Marie Cloud :)
Were you surprised to hear from me? It's been quite a long time, has it not? I am planning to post more frequently. Starting with weekly chapter notes and insights I have gotten from a book, Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg. If you have not read this book or have not read it in a while, I encourage you to do so!
God has given me a love for people and a passion to write. I love that the sky shows the creativity of our loving Maker, don't you? I hope you will join me on this journey through life exploring the beautiful creation God has made and the lessons that He is teaching me through it all.