So much of our culture is centered on love. The movies we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read. So much of our entertainment is about romance and love. Furthermore love is a complex topic and a complex emotional phenomenon. But what is love really?
I have wrestled with defining love many times in my life. I feel like my marriage has and is teaching me much about love. Furthermore many argue that there are different kinds of love. My husband and I have discussed many times how love is often a choice not a feeling. We often must choose to act in love even when we do not “feel” the emotions we typically associate with love. Love is a choice not just a feeling.
I do not always feel lovey dovey feelings toward my husband but I choose to respond with loving action despite my emotions. My husband often must do the same to me. We don’t hear about that part of love in the romance movies rather we see people just separating or getting divorced because the “spark” that once drove them together no longer exists.
We often hear about the romantic love that is more a physical response to another person. It is more an infatuation than anything. Love is complex. But the Bible does talk about love many times. The greatest commandment is about love.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39
Furthermore the Bible gives us a description of how to love
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
How many of us actually love others like it says in 1 Corinthians 13? Well I sure fall short all the time. But I am also taken back by this passage because all of the things listed are actions, not emotional feelings. Maybe we need some new love songs that sings more about this kind of love.