Our culture is obsessed with the idea of love. Films, music, art, and even Virginia bumper stickers are saturated with the word “love.”
1) Love is a commitment: I have often heard that love is a choice, but I think commitment is a better word. We make choices everyday and can change our decision at a moment’s notice. When we commit to something, however, we are in it for the long haul. A husband commits to loving his wife, in both sickness and in health. A father commits to loving his children, even when they drive him crazy. Granted, there is a daily choice to demonstrate our love, but this choice is founded in our commitment.
2) Based upon the will of God: Why do I love my neighbor? Because God wills me to do so. Why do I love my wife? Because God wills me to do so. Why do I love my enemy? Because God wills me to do so. How do I know He wills these things? The Bible is rather clear on this. We are commanded to love people.
3) To Provide and Protect: This is the actual action of love. Because I love my wife, I work to protect and provide for her. If I have to sacrifice my own body to protect her, then I will. Hopefully, none of us will need to die for a spouse or child, but it is far more likely we will have to sacrifice our convenience, pride, ambitions, wants, and time to protect and provide for our loved ones. The essential position here is that of a servant. When you love someone, you put them and their needs above your own.
4) Most often under girded by an emotion: When you love someone, you usually will feel “warm fuzzies” towards them. It kind of is like skyrockets in flight! But what about when I have to love my enemies? Or, much more practical, what about when my wife asks me to do the dishes when I am well positioned on the couch after a long day of work? I can assure you, while most people experience butterflies in their stomach when they have their first kiss, few people have the same feeling when they wash their first dish.
But that is OK. I don’t need those feelings to protect and provide for my wife. I’ve committed my life to her and God has called me to love her. So even on the days when I would rather be selfish and the emotions seem missing, Lord willing I will choose to serve her.
I’ve learned something rather interesting in these past three years. When I willfully choose to serve her, even when I have no desire to wash the dishes or clean the car or go shopping, and once I get over the hump of my own pride, the feelings I have for her come flooding in stronger than ever.
Question: How do you define love?
EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!
Today’s guest post is from Evan Forester. He loves people, sports, cheese, and adventure. In fact, he moved to New Zealand with his wife, Morgan, on July 3. He writes regularly at #LiveFully (http://livefullyblog.com) and you can find him on twitter here (@evanforester)