Do you know what love is?

Your first mistake?
Love is not a promise.
It’s an emotion.

Those words came from a random blog I found as I logged on to WordPress.com to write the post I should have written two days ago. It was a blog by a young college female who was bemoaning the struggles of finding and maintaining significant relationships (knowing that some of my readers might “Google” the quote, please be forewarned, you will find her blog and it’s not G-rated. This is why I have not made a link to it directly). Her point with those closing words above seems to be that love is something you feel for another person, but it doesn’t mean things will work out just because you love them. It’s not a promise, it’s just an emotion – deal with it.

We as Christians know differently. Love actually IS a promise even as much as it is an emotion, maybe more so. The emotions we feel in dating relationships are often more like excitement or infatuation – it has to do with the attraction and the circumstance. Whatever you may call the emotion, the one thing it may not be is love. Love is not butterflies in our stomach when we’re dating. Love is not even the rush of excitement that comes as you see an old friend as you meet them at the airport. Love is also not the admiration of someone’s goodness or upstanding character. More than just an emotion – more than giddiness, excitement, or admiration – love is an action, a decision, yes, even a promise.

Love is the willingness to give yourself to others so that their life will be better.
Love is the choice to hope for and work for the welfare of the other.

Love is a promise.
Love is a promise that no matter what you do I’ll be here.
Love is the commitment that says I will do all I can to make your life good.

Please hear me, to say love is a promise or a commitment is not to dismiss the animosity or disrespect of others..

Love is not being a doormat for others to walk on.
Love is being a momentary jacket over a mud puddle to help others get safely and cleanly on their way.

Love is not letting  you yell at me because you feel the need to do so.
Love is choosing to stand up and stand firm, but to respond with kindness and not in kind.

Love is not staying together at all cost.
Love is putting some distance between us when the need arises but keeping the lines of communication open.

Love is also not giddiness and unending excitement.
Love is enjoying the moments of giddiness when they happen and treasuring the times when life together is amazing, while enduring the times when it is not.

Love is not just an emotion.
Love is, more accurately, a promise. A promise given in the midst of our emotions – both good and bad.

Love is not doing for others because they deserve it.
Love is laying down your life for others because they need it.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
(1 John 3:16 NIV)

Our biggest mistake?
Love is not simply an emotion,
it is a promise.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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3 responses to “Do you know what love is?

  1. My wife of 45 years says it best “Love is an Action”

  2. I think love truly starts with yourself. You need to love yourself enough to know that you will improve the existence of another. God loves us but so often we find ourselves unworthy so we tend to prove ourselves in human ways. We call it love because of our emotion but until we’re able to mirror the unselfish love of God, is it love? Loving someone enough to be an asset to their existence without expectation of anything in return is the ultimate goal, I believe.

  3. Love is many things, but true love was (and is) expressed by God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Thanks for the perspective. And, I love that I John 3:16 and John 3:16 go so well together. Truly a God thing.

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