As a counselor, I have spent many hours with couples who would say they no longer love their spouse or they are no longer IN LOVE with their spouse. I understand they mean they no longer have the butterflies-in-the-stomach feelings they once had. But when we think Biblically about love, is the butterflies-in-the-stomach really a true indicator of love?
Our culture has made feelings of love the determining factor to marry, as well as the determining factor to stay married. Since feelings change they are a wobbly foundation on which to rest decisions about such an important relationship.
Let’s consider relationships with other people. We still tend to base our choices on whether we like that individual or not.
But Jesus casts a different light on love…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:43-44
What? Love our enemies? Well, we know for sure that if this relied on our feelings of love, we would NEVER obey. Therefore, love is not based on feelings but on choosing to obey God.
Are you in a marriage where the feelings of love have waned? Choose to love, anyway.
Is your co-worker annoying you to the nth degree? Choose to love, anyway.
Is your brother or sister not helping out much with mom and dad? Choose to love, anyway.
Is your boss demanding and arrogant? Choose to love, anyway.
Is the person in the line at the store vying for your position in line? Choose to love, anyway.
Is someone at church spreading lies about you? Choose to love, anyway.
Were you misunderstood at the last staff meeting? Choose to love, anyway.
Please understand. When I say, choose to love anyway, I am NOT saying do nothing or to be silent. Love is active not passive. Love is choosing to obey God and reflect Him in that moment for God is love.
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 Love is active and is characterized by patience, kindness, humility, politeness, other-centeredness, having a thick skin, and consistency. It is characterized by what characterizes Jesus Christ.
Biblical love is not based on feelings. It is based on a thousand choices a day. A thousand choices, TODAY, to be patient, to be kind, to be polite, not to be easily offended, to love… anyway.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.