Saturday, November 8, 2014

Deciding to Love

Love and commitment are not the same thing.  In order for marriage to be what it ought to be, you need both. Commitment is based on a decision.  Love is much more complicated.
There are different kinds of love.  Some of them are more a matter of choice than others.  As Christians we choose to love good and hate evil — even if our affections are screaming the opposite. There are many times when you have to choose to love someone when your feelings do not incline you to do so.  Sometimes it happens that a man must choose to love his wife, though he doesn’t really feel like it.  If he is in this unfortunate situation, he ought by all means to choose to do right regardless of his feelings.  Perhaps he has to choose to forsake his mistress and love his wife.  It is right for him to do so, and it may be real love for his wife and kids that would induce him to do it — but it isn’t romance.
 You can choose to love your neighbor, to esteem another better than yourself, and to lay down your life for your wife.  These are love, but romance or “falling in love” is different.  You don’t decide to fall.  You just do.  You might decide to get close enough to fall — or decide not to — but falling in love is not a decision.
A man doesn't have to fall in love with a woman to marry her — but it is hard enough for him to obey Ephesians 5 even when he does.  Why make it harder? A woman doesn't want to hear, “I choose to love you.” What she wants to hear is, “I can’t help loving you.” Read the Song of Solomon and see if there is any deciding to love in there.
Anyone can choose to eat sauerkraut, but most folks can’t choose to love it as much as they do pizza.  You can decide what you do.  You can not decide what will thrill your heart.  You can choose to marry, and in a sense choose to love your wife.  You can also choose to take steps that will increase your enjoyment in every circumstance in life.  You can make choices that affect how you feel — but you can not directly choose your feelings.
      Romance is predominately feeling.  If you can decide it, you take the passion out of it, and it isn’t romance any more.  You could marry without it.  But why would you want to?  You may still have love if you did — the kind of love that can be decided, but that is a bare sort of love that should be reserved for those who have no hope of anything better. 

1 comment:

  1. These are good solid thoughts about love. I prefer the love that has passion in it but I will admit there are times that I must decide to love. That is just the nature of our falleness.