Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's been on my mind...

The other day a girlfriend had this as her facebook status:
LOVE??? what is it? Someone once told me it was a choice, but is it? What are your thoughts?

This was my response (adjusted a bit for typos):
Well, since you asked, I'll answer. Only cause I think I might be the person who said love is a choice! haha

I think that the feelings and emotions of love are indicators. Because I believe that the opposite of love is self love, I believe that when I love you, it means that I want what's best for you whether it is fun for me or not fun for me.

In fact, often love is very self sacrificing, but I think the choice is up to us whether we chose to enjoy the sacrifice or not. In the supreme example of love, we are told that it was for the joy set before Him (Jesus) that He chose the path of the cross.

In a less dramatic example, If Mike wants Italian for dinner, but I want Mexican, I can sacrifice my desire to give to him his desire. Then I can choose to enjoy the Italian and his company or be a party pooper.

I think to often we say we love someone because of how/who something makes us feel. And then if/when we don't feel that any more, sometimes we check out. In reality, I think that is only self love. Think of parent/child relationships. There are moments we have to choose to love that child right? Like during a temper tantrum in the FULL check out line at 5:00 in Wal-mart. (Wait, did I just confess that about my kid?! HA) But I still love that child even though I may not feel it at that moment.

Real love holds you accountable. Real love challenges you to be a better you. Real love asks hard questions. Real love is HONEST. Real love wants the very best for YOU. Real love considers you before it considers self.

So, I do think that love is a choice and some times a hard one. I also think that often times I am selfish and want what I want.

I agree with Rhonda (previous commenter) that it is the greatest gift you can give or receive. When someone truly puts your needs/desires above their own, it is an honor like none else. And when we get to the place of putting other peoples needs before ours I think is when we find the joy that comes from not living for our self.

I think it's one of those amazing Kingdom paradoxes that our flesh fights to understand. (like the first shall be last, it's better to give than receive etc.)
I have a bunch more thoughts.... The story of the good Samaritan and 1 John 4 keep rolling over in my mind.
Words like selfless, hard, humble and costly keep coming up. 1 Corinthians 13 also has a description of the character of love that we try to emphasize around here a lot.

What about you? Do you think love is a choice? A feeling or emotion? Are there any key words that come to mind when you think of love?


stayathomepop said...

Just because I like the song, I will say that love is a verb. IN all honesty, I agree that it is a choice, and unfortunatly, a choice we mess up on. When we become selfish in our choosing, as you pointed out, we can mess it up for more than just ourselves. Even when it comes to Christ, we have to choose to love Him. Maybe His love for us is not a choice now, but He did have a choice to die for us, kinda. He could have stopped it at any time. Wow, i ramble a lot.

Much Afraid said...

I think you hit the nail on the head Rach!

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