Have you ever read a romance novel or watched a romance movie? Who hasn’t, right? Do you remember falling in ‘love’ with one of the characters because the story lured you into this romantic trance that stirred up ‘feelings’ like you’ve never felt before? The story talks about “his/her eyes looking into your heart,” or “his/her touch causing your body to tingle or shiver.” Those types of books and movies give a false description of love. (If I had learned this early in life, I might have saved myself the heartache of broken marriages and divorces).
Love is not a ‘warm or tingly feeling.’ Love is a decision we make that is born of a desire to be like Christ. God is not an emotion that you can turn on and off – He is the giver of LOVE! 1John 4:7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God….” I recently attended a women’s conference and heard a speaker talk about all of the mistakes she had made in her early adulthood, and how God never left her – in fact, he was chasing after her heart the whole time, even through those sinful times. You know, I guess I’m naive, but whenever I was going through my early adulthood (living in sin), I had never looked at God that way. I guess I thought that when I was living (messing up) my life, he was just sitting quietly in heaven waiting for me to change my mind. But, the thought of him running after me – trying to catch me during all of those years – – really grabbed my heart! Wow – He loves me sooo much! And – how foolish I was!
He loves us so much that He never stops his persuit of us, from the minute we are born to the minute we die, and beyond – He chases after us with the longing for a love relationship. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.” God created us and set us apart as His own so that He could LOVE us. Love (remember, it’s not a feeling) includes patience, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and the list goes on. If we commit to love someone, we need to love them with all of these characteristics and more. And, love is not contingent on the actions of the other person. If so, God would have divorced himself from me many years ago. But, He has continued to love me until I came to the realization that love was not about me and not a feeling. And, I’m so glad He didn’t give up on me.
1 Chronicles 16:34 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: His love endures FOREVER.” Hebrews 13:5 – ‘…..God has said, “NEVER will I leave you; NEVER will I forsake you.”’ Did you catch that? It bears repeating – His love for us NEVER stops. It NEVER depends on how we act.
God gave his son, Jesus, so that we could have salvation – which means that our sin is wiped away and we are in a love relationship with him! How exciting! God wants us to love Him the way He loves us – unconditional and eternally. And then, love others the same way. I encourage you to make time to sit at the feet of Jesus, give him all of you, and let him love you in return like you have never been loved. His love is so much better than a ‘feeling.’
When I married my current husband, Joel, I promised God I would love him for the rest of my life (and he did likewise about me) – we all do that in our wedding vows – “till death do us part.” It’s really hard some days – – because in all of our humanness, we don’t always make it easy to love one another. But, it’s all about my commitment to love like Christ, even on days that it seems impossible. I pray continually that God will give me His characteristics so that I can love my husband to my fullest potential. I know he loves me very much. And, I pray that through my example, he and others will choose to love and honor God.