Every Day Bible

More than a Feeling

loveverbLove 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.

Every Day Bible


Perhaps three of the most important letters in the English alphabet are W, H, and Y. “Why” is a child’s favorite question to ask. “Why” provides motivation for endurance in trials. Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” “Why” exposes our motivations—the reasons behind our words and our actions. “Why” can reveal where our hearts really are.

Jerry Bridges tried to supply a “why” for each line of love’s definitionbig-why in 1 Corinthians 13. He wanted us to search our hearts and see what the “why” revealed. It is possible for us to act in a loving way but not be loving. We all have times that we act what we do not feel, but ideally our hearts and actions come to agree more often than not.

“Because” is the word that answers “why.” Look for the motivations in love—and compare them with your “why’s.”

  • I am patient with you because I love you and want to forgive you.
  • I am kind to you because I love you and want to help you.
  • I do not envy your possessions or your gifts because I love you and want you to have the best.
  • I do not boast about my attainments because I love you and want to hear about yours.
  • I am not proud because I love you and want to esteem you before myself.
  • I am not rude because I love you and care about your feelings.
  • I am not self-seeking because I love you and want to meet your needs.
  • I am not easily angered by you because I love you and want to overlook your offenses.
  • I do not keep a record of your wrongs because I love you, and “love covers a multitude of sins.”

Unfortunately, our “why’s” often get out of whack. We are patient because we don’t want to make a scene. We are kind because we don’t want a bad reputation. We don’t boast because there are consequences.

Let’s look at our hearts – and be people who are motivated by real love.