Love is a Decision
Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Like most families with teenagers some of our conversations with our kids are so repetitive. It seems like there are certain talks we just seem to have over and over again. One of those conversations at our house has to do with dating and the opposite sex. I want to prepare my kids to have a healthy marriage and I want them to understand that the typical dating habits of most young people don’t really prepare them for commitment based love. The infatuation and warm feelings during a typical teenage romance are so unlike marriage – at least marriages that last.
I want my kids to know that some day when they’re married they will need more to go on than feelings of infatuation because marriage takes commitment and love and yes, hard work too. The promise at the alter is to love in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. They hate to hear me say it but I want them to understand that sometimes in marriage you must choose to love because it’s right not because you feel like it. Ultimately I want them to know that love is a decision not a feeling. Feelings will change but if they have predetermined to love their spouse their marriage will have a much greater chance of lasting.
Really love works this way in all relationships. If we only loved others when we felt like it this world would be a pretty sad place. If we were so naturally inclined to love others then why did God give us so many instructions in the Bible on the matter?
I find I need lots of encouragement and reminders to choose to love. After all love is so much more than a feeling; it’s a choice.