Love is more than a feeling. It is a choice, a pursuit, a decision, an action, a lifestyle. When we reduce love to something as fleeting as an emotion, we tear out the support that allows it to weather the storms of life. Here’s a short lesson on Christian love from a helpful book about the purpose of marriage by Gary Thomas called Sacred Marriage.
“Christian love, on the other hand, must be chased after, aspired to, and practiced. The popular culture completely misunderstands this principle.
One of the cruelest and most self-condemning remarks I’ve ever heard is the one that men often use when they leave their wives for another woman: “The truth is, I’ve never loved you.”
This is meant to be an attack on the wife — saying, in effect, “The truth is, I’ve never found you lovable.”
But put in a Christian context, it’s a confession of the man’s utter failure to be a Christian. If he hasn’t loved his wife, it is not his wife’s fault, but his. Jesus calls us to love even the unlovable — even our enemies! — so a man who says “I’ve never loved you” is a man who is saying essentially this: “I’ve never acted like a Christian.”
Thomas calls us on the carpet for our tendency to blame others for our failing at the simplest commands of Christianity. Love isn’t optional. It’s more than a feeling.
So even when you don’t feel like it, love anyway. When the other person doesn’t deserve it, love anyway. When you’re tired and cranky and you’ve had a bad day, love anyway.