A concept that is wrapped up with many definitions, stigmas, and stories. We can love hot dogs, people, or places. Love can be seen as a strength, or even as a weakness. We as people crave stories about enduring love as we read books, watch movies, and pressure friends into dating relationships.
What if I told you that love was not any of these things? Instead, love is a choice.
Weird concept, right? Some say, “You can’t choose who you love!”, but I believe you can. While falling in love may have a less controllable feeling, loving that person day to day is a choice. When that person is hard to love, we have to choose to stay with them, to forgive, and to love them even at their lowest. Even friends (and family) are hard to love at times.
Friends, I feel so humbled writing this. It is so hard for me to love others. I feel very blessed that the Lord gave me a best friend, and now my husband, who is full of love for me no matter what I seem to do, he is right there next to me. Forgiving me and showing me what real, true love is: a choice. He chooses to not just “deal” with me or ignore me, but listens, cares, and is so wise.
I wish I could say the same about myself. I am finding myself becoming more and more impatient with people around me. I struggle with jealousy, that turns to bitterness in a very bad way. I become angry quickly when I don’t get my way or if I feel overlooked by others.
I am not choosing to love.
In fact, that is so very much the opposite of what love is supposed to be.
Love is supposed to be kind, patient, and not self-seeking. It is to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, there is a whole paragraph about what love is, and what love is not. Even if reading the Bible isn’t your thing, we can all learn a thing or two from this passage. We can all learn how to love others from this.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This is just a piece of what the choice of loving others looks like. Friends, family, and significant others; the choice always looks the same when choosing love.
I challenge you to try choosing this love. Choosing not a fleeting feeling, but the trust, hope, and forgiveness that everyone desires; and that everyone needs. Let’s go change the world by loving in a new way.
Much love. Much grace.