A Lenten Story: Love is not a “Feeling”

You know, there’s a lot of things people will like about you… until they don’t.

55I have struggled with the tendency of my generation and the generation before and after mine to only love when it’s convenient for them. They identify love as a feeling or as a way to happiness, but it’s not.

Love is a decision. It’s a choice. It’s a two way street.

There are a lot of things I can love that may never love me back. I’m not hurt by that. It’s part of life. That being said, it’s the most amazing feeling when love is returned. The two people who choose to love continuously feed each other what we’ve been starving for and life seems good. Life even seems hopeful. But even in the midst of these good feelings, we can get nervous – what if that feeling could be stripped away? What if it’s depends on me doing everything right? What if I make the wrong move or did the wrong thing? What if there is a part of me that is not loveable?

That’s a problem. It won’t ever be perfectly fixed, but it can be significantly helped.

Are you making people nervous?

Sometimes I find that “love” is being taken away from me because the “feelings have changed.”  Feelings are subject to change at any given moment. If love were a feeling (alone), I would be terrified of it. If love were a feeling, I would tell you “Monogamy is a joke. Life is about flitting from one flower to the next and taking what nectar you can before the opening closes up and the opportunity is over.”

But, we’re not flowers. A flower does not have it’s own willpower. Likewise, a hummingbird is different in the fact that they have limited amounts of discernment and introspection.

Humans are called to be different. Nature has equipped us to be different.

Why aren’t we acting differently?

It’s funny how timid we are about love. We don’t want to give it out to the wrong people or at the wrong time. We don’t want to seem needy or attached. But, isn’t that all just crap???

As I understand it, we don’t have any promises for tomorrow. We have today. One of the biggest teachings of Christianity is to love God and love each other. It’s that simple.

The popular Corinthians 13 verses that are read at most weddings end with these words, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We’re not kids anymore. When the end of life comes… when the world is finished… when all things are revealed and simple…when no more mysteries remain… three things will go on: hope, faith, and love – and the greatest of these is love.

Do you get it?

These are the things in life that are ETERNAL. They go beyond our existence here and now and live on forever. So, if that’s true… why are we avoiding eternal treasure???? 

Feelings are great. They have their place in life. But, you don’t get through 55 years of marriage on “feeling” alone.

Love is about making a choice to try to see the good in each other. To love is to be willing to experience the pain of letting one another down and forgiving them afterwards. It’s about not leaving when things get tough. It’s about giving second chances and fiftieth chances. It’s about serving one another. It’s about sacrifice. It’s about showing the other person you value them by being intentional during your time together. It’s about accepting a person for what they are currently while helping them to achieve what they could be in the future.

You can love better.

It’s going to take practice. It’s going to take a partner. Sometimes, it might even take a coach.

But you can do it.

And that investment… is going to go ON.. and ON… and ON. Even after your last breath in this world is finished… hope, faith, and love remain – and the greatest of these is love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s