More Than A Feeling
I’ve sat down to type this post about four times this week and every time, I come up empty. At lunch today, I went for a run in the hopes that I could clear my mind and start formulating a solid outline of what my final post about love should say. I purposely did not take my iPod with me on the run. I love Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, Imogen Heap and the other pop rock folks that help me along as I pound the pavement, but it’s hard to come up with your words when someone’s singing sweet melodies in my ear.
I prayed as I ran: Lord, I don’t know why this post is so difficult for me. Show me where my mental block is coming from. (I believe that God wants to be involved in even the smallest parts of our lives.) As I jogged along (running is really a loose term for what I was doing…we’re talking 12 minute mile here), it hit me. Music is part of my problem…and so is television…and so are movies… and, dare I say it, so is the internet.
How can I come up with a post about anything—much less a topic as heavy as love—when so many other things are clamoring for my attention and sending me their own messages about whatever topic I may be wanting to write about? Seriously. What’s the first thing you do when you want to make a post? For me, I start to think about what I’ve heard, seen or read about the topic. And most of those messages come from music, movies, television, books or the internet. And when it comes to a topic like love, those messages are often JUST FLAT WRONG.
I started this series of posts on Sunday–Valentines Day–after seeing the movie by that same name at the theater. That theater was filled with middle-school and high-school aged students, who more than likely (sadly) went away with the wrong impression of love: that it’s based on sex and feelings.
If there’s one thing that I would like to drive home not just in this post, but in every conversation about love that I enter into in the future, it’s that love is not based on physical attraction, passion, sexual chemistry or any other feeling. Sure, those are all components of a relationship, but not of love.
Love is an action. It is a conscious choice we make each day about how we will act towards another person. Love is patient, kind, generous, unselfish, no easily angered, forgiving. Love bears all things and believes all things (1 Cor. 13). But, after nine months of marriage, I can tell you that love is not a feeling.
I don’t wake up every morning or go to bed every night with butterflies in my stomach as I look over at Husband; but my heart does overflow with a desire to honor, respect and cherish him, regardless of how I feel, BECAUSE I love him. I’ve talked with counselors before who say that people come into their office saying that they just “fell out of love” with their significant other. One counselor said she responded to those people by saying: “Well, I fell out of my bed this morning, but I stood back up and crawled back in.”
The standing up and crawling back is where love becomes an action. The choice to love someone takes strength, determination, courage and faith…as well as all the other things I’ve talked about in these three posts–AND SO MUCH MORE. But rather than giving up and in when the going gets tough (much like we see on TV or in movies) or rather than thinking that you’re not supposed to be with a person simply because you don’t get all hot and bothered every time they walk into the room, let’s CHOOSE to ACT differently. Let’s choose to LOVE.