"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to was is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Romans 12:9-10,
Love is more than a feeling. Love is more than Hallmark movies and Valentine’s Day. Love is a choice and an action.
Love encompasses so incredibly much more than romance. I’m not sure love and romance are even the same thing. For the sake of this lesson, I’m going to say that no, love is not the same thing as romance. The romantic aspect needs to be far removed from love, because romance is a feeling. And feelings are fleeting. Feelings are these emotions that come and go based on the current circumstance or environment.
When you are about to make a decision, don’t people often tell you to take the emotions out of the decision and really think about what it is you’re deciding? I don’t think a healthy marriage is founded on just a romantic feeling. Before you get married — i hope — you sit down with your future spouse and you discuss the logistics of being a married couple: finances, housing, raising children, jobs, etc… Often someone might say, “well as long as I’m with you, I’ll be happy.”
Will you though? It is completely unfair to hold someone accountable for all of your happiness. That expectation is created based on a feeling, and it is setting you up for failure because that person is human and that person will indeed fail. At some point, you will be unhappy.
I know I'm only 19 years old, so what do I really know about marriage? Not a whole lot.
But I do know a lot about existing along side of people and I know it's not always easy to love them. I pray that God gives me enough love and strength to make the choice to love, even when it seems too hard.
Love is a choice to stick with a person even when you’re unhappy. You have to choose to love that person each day. And that does not mean choosing to be happy with that person’s actions. Choosing to love someone is choosing to be patient, kind, faithful and persevering. It is choosing to not be irritable, to not be rude or demanding, to not be prideful and jealous. It is choosing a positive perspective. It is choosing hope.
And love is not just something for the person you’re married to, but it is for the person you see in the grocery store, the person you work with, live with, compete with, study with, go to church with…anyone you coexist with. Love is something for everyone, even when it seems impossible. And I promise there will be times you are frustrated with a coworker, a teammate, a friend, an employee or boss or any family member. It is up to you to choose to be patient and kind. It’s up to you to choose love. It’s not an easy choice, I know. But it is the most beneficial, life-giving choice.
THESE are the things that are enduring. That romantic feeling will flee. Loveis not romantic. It is messy and annoying and irritating and hard. But it is hopeful and it is kind.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It’s not irritable and keeps no record of wrong. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7