Why hello there my little love birds! How art thou? I am so excited to be writing this post today because it has SO much meaning to my heart + to my life… oh la laaaa! Recently I began reading a book called Loveology by John Mark Comer + BOY has my world been rocked. Between reading this book, listening to multiple podcasts [like Andy Stanley’s sermon on “staying in love”], + actually putting to PRACTICE being a true LOVING being, I feel super excited to share with you some of the things I have learned + know thus far about love [because let’s face it, we are all learning SO much daily].
The first thing I want to mention is that love truly is more of a CHOICE than just a feeling. Yes, indeed you can have the feelings of love + affection for someone, but the actual act of LOVING someone goes deeper than just these affections. In order to truly understand the choice of love, we have to look to the example of Jesus. In 1 John it states so beautifully how much God loved us by sending His only son as a sacrifice for us.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
Jesus sacrificed his life. He endured pain + torture + harsh words + pretty much the worst things imaginable. And he did it all… FOR US. Broken humans who truly were unworthy of love by human standards, He chose to DIE for. Imagine if someone wanted to kill you, but instead of being angry or fearful, you tell them… “I love you anyway”. THAT IS NEARLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE to our tiny human brains, but to Jesus, it is what he stands for. True, selfless, life-giving [literally] LOVE. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!?!
The way we use the word love also has SO many different meanings. We overuse it in ways to showcase our deep affections for something. For example, we use it to translate our passion for a thing like “I LOVE macarons.” or “I LOVE Paris.” In this context, “love” is something that happens to us or engulfs us in terms of a feeling. If all love was just like that, we would easily fall in + out of love. If one day, my macarons didn’t taste good to me anymore, I might say “I don’t love macarons anymore”. This kind of use of the word love is too flexible + inconsistent. I am not saying this kind of love is not valid….it is + we are allowed to feel it. I am just saying there is MORE to it.
In some ways, love can also be a bit selfish. We grasp onto the emotional feelings that give us all sorts of butterflies + lovely thoughts or feelings of pure excitement. We grasp onto those lovely feeling things + just want more + more of it. We take + take + take because it feels SO good + it makes us happy. But, when we do that, we are missing the other half…. we are missing out on the idea of selfless love.
That brings me to the deeper side of love. Love is self giving + serving. In Loveology, John Mark Comer makes reference to Jesus
washing feet in John 13. In those times, washing feet was an action a slave would complete. Jesus was quite far from being that of a slave, but even still he was not above the act of feet washing. Not only that, one of the individuals Jesus was about to wash the feet of was Judas, the man who was considering betraying him. SAY WHAT! So here we have Jesus lowering himself to that of a slave, switching roles with his disciples + even washing the feet of a man who wanted to betray him. This very act, showcases the servitude that is attached to love. Love is not just feeling, it is doing selfless acts + serving others in the process.
Indeed love is both FEELING and it is ACTION.
John Piper says it so beautifully, “Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others”. There we have a little taste of why love is more than just a feeling. As I shared the words “I love you” with my boyfriend just a few weeks ago, I fully took them to mean not just “I have deeply affectionate feelings for you”, but rather “I choose you. I will stand by you. I will fight for you. I will serve you. I will care for you selflessly.” That is what I meant when I told him I loved him.
What are some of your thoughts or challenges as it comes to love?