Love: It’s More Than A Feeling

0802B457-8AC3-45B7-A86F-466C643003EC.jpegLove is hard. Even under the best of circumstances. It’s usually two people broken in their own ways, trying to make another person feel whole. It’s baggage from pasts, it’s insecurities, it’s family issues, it’s work issues, and other things that can get in the way. And after being hurt, love just becomes even more complicated. But that doesn’t meant it’s not worth it. Love when done right can be the most rewarding thing we do in and with our lives. Yes it is a huge risk. Life without love though is a life not fully lived. We were created to love and do life with a partner. (Ephesians 5:31) It’s a part of God’s plan for us at creation. But somewhere along the way things got all messed up. With lust, pride, ego, and other things, we have tainted the pure gift that is love. And have created generations of men and women who don’t know how to properly love. Myself included. Some of us don’t love enough, leaving our partners to feel lonely and neglected. While others love too much, leaving ourselves and lives neglected. (I myself fall into that category.) So is there any hope? Can we as a people get this love thing back on track. Well being the hopeless romantic that I am, I say yes. Not saying it will be easy, but most things worth having rarely are. So where do we start?
I always start with God. With Jesus. How they show us to love. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Here we see that first we have to give up this idea of finding a perfect partner. There is no such thing. Sure you can find someone who shares your interests, values, and life goals. That does not however equal to a perfect partner. We all have things that are apart of us that can make us harder to love. But as God showed us through Jesus, you love others even in their imperfections. That doesn’t mean allowing them to hurt you or do damage to you, that’s a different story. Forgiving someone’s flaws however is a big part of loving someone. The second thing we see from this verse is sacrifice. Jesus died for us out of love for us. Now I’m not suggesting we go taking bullets for people or anything that extreme. Sacrifice takes on many versions. Sacrificing of time, energy, effort, the remote, and many other things. The kicker here though is, when you truly love someone it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all. You just do it. That speaks mostly to those of us who don’t love enough. I want to speak a moment to those like me who love too much. Give too much. Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” There are other verses that speak of Jesus retreating. Jesus teaches us here that it’s okay to take time for yourself. To regroup and focus on your own personal health and purpose. Plus taking time to talk to God is always a healthy thing to do. So love hard, yes! Just remember to take time for you too and for God.
Second, we need to learn how to properly deal with our baggage. Fully releasing it and all the bad stuff that comes with it. You know insecurities, short tempers, mistrust of others. This in fact I suggest you do first. And of course the only way I know to fully accomplish this is with God. Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” First thing we have to do is forgive ourselves. Fully allow the blood of Christ to transform us into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Once we can fully accept Gods forgiveness of us, it becomes easier to forgive another. Just as God forgives us we are called to forgive others. Again that doesn’t mean allowing someone to continue hurting you. It simply means releasing them from any debt you may feel they owe you. Just as Jesus paid our debt fully releasing us. I know what you are probably thinking, “but this means I’m saying it’s okay what they did.” No that’s not what forgiveness means. It means you are allowed to let go of what happened. By no longer keeping track of what you believe a person owes you, you are free to let it go and move on. It’s not saying it’s okay, it’s saying you no longer get to control my feelings, emotions, heart, and by extension my life. Once we can fully forgive ourselves the enemy can no lager use our past to wreck our future. Same goes for after we forgive others as well. Insecurities and other self esteem issues can disappear because we no longer are our past. That’s huge in being able to properly love another, being able to fully love ourself first.
Then we have dedication. Love is more a decision than it is a feeling. Feelings change, circumstances change, causing us to decide to love on most days. That’s where choosing to be dedicated comes in. We again can learn dedication to loving someone from God. (Deuteronomy 31:8) “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God never leaves us.” Nothing can separate us from Gods love. (Romans 8:38-39) That’s true dedication at its best. God decided before we were created that we were worth never giving up on. When you love someone you have to decide at the get go that you aren’t going anywhere. Again unless they are hurting you by physical or emotional means. That’s totally different. However leaving just because times got tough should never be an option in love. God never gives up on us, we shouldn’t give up on others.
It’s not always easy to love. Most days aren’t all rainbows and butterflies. It’s tough work standing by someone’s side for better and for worst. I believe though that there is very few things better in this world than knowing you have a partner for life. That no matter what you face, they will always be there to face it with you. We have to learn and be able to love first though. Getting ourselves right with God, being mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. That’s the key to loving successfully. I’ll leave you with the most well known scripture on what love should be. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Living our best life is done better filled with love. No matter what type of love it is, do it intentionally. As always I’m praying for you. ❤️

 

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