Love. What is it?
Is it a feeling? Is it a mere word? Is it an experience?
Such a small word for something so big. Big, yet so hard to find.
I am slowly learning what it means to truly and deeply love someone. Real love is not a tickly fluttering feeling in your gut, I had that same feeling when I had my wisdom tooth out 3 weeks ago and I’m pretty sure the dentist wasn’t that good looking. Real love requires a choice. It requires action. It requires hard work.
Let me start with my love for my kids. I don’t always have that heart melting good feeling for my kids. When my toddler is on a rampage or my baby boy is having a meltdown I am not a doting mother with a big smile. More accurately I am like a screaming banshee or growling wolf. Don’t get me wrong there are times when my children are so sweet I get cavities (10 of them to be exact, ugh!). But that is not love.
Love is not based on whether or not they are good or bad kids. Love is the decision I make to care for my kids, to kiss their boo boos, to cuddle them when they are sick, to feed them when they are hungry, to clothe them…er well, many times my children are in their birthday suits as anyone who has visited me can attest. But the point is, I will not stop tending to the needs of my children just because they are misbehaving. I will do all I can to make sure they are content physically, as well as mentally or spiritually. I challenge them to learn new things instead of plopping them in front of a movie and lull their brains to death. I tell them and attempt to show them how much God loves them through grace as well as discipline.
I told my husband a few weeks ago that many times I do not feel love for our children all the time. Sometimes I feel angry. Sometimes I feel frustrated. But how I feel does not mean I don’t love my children.
But that is not where my love ends. I also love my husband. I have made the choice that no matter how hard it is I will still support, care and pray for this man I am adjoined to. My husband is not perfect. He is as far from perfect as I am. He makes mistakes, big mistakes. He struggles with sin just like anyone else. And yet I will not turn my back on him. I will not stop loving him just because he is “misbehaving.” I cannot withhold the support and care due him because he is not living up to some invisible standard. It is not my responsibility to judge his actions and punish or reward him, it is God’s job. It is completely out of line for me to even try. Plus if I want to take part of God’s job I might as well take it all and even though I was a buff swimmer, my shoulders aren’t that big.
So at times I don’t feel love for my husband. I may feel hurt. I may feel betrayed. I may feel lonely. But how I feel does not change the commitment I have made to love him no matter what.
Why even make this commitment? Why love someone who hurts me? Because at one time, someone loved me. They loved me so much they would sacrifice their own flesh and blood for the sake of my salvation. Me. Someone who sometimes uses filthy language. Me. Someone who often gets angry and looses my raging tongue on everyone around. Me. Someone whose very sins drove the nails through my Savior’s flesh. And yet I am loved. God loves me.
Sometimes I hurt God. Sometimes He grieves to see me struggle. Sometimes He is betrayed by my affair with sin. But God still loves me. He does not base His love on what I do right or wrong. He has chosen me out of a crowd to be loved. With a love so great, how can I not share it with others?
So I love. I give it freely, no strings attached. And on that day when I see Him face to face, I will encounter a love so perfect, I will never need again. And on that day, I will feel this love that I have chosen to give away.
My love will not be in vain.Today, I choose love.