Thursday, February 27, 2014

throwback thursday // love, a verb

>> there are some posts from way back when i first started the blog that i'd like to highlight. so, i'm reposting some of them & i'm calling it throwback thursday! this post was originally written February 4, 2013. enjoy! <<

Love is, at it's most fickle state, a feeling. What we really feel is affection, attraction, better about ourselves.

Real love, is an action. The Bible commands us to love one another. Since you cannot command a feeling, it has to be an action.

Our culture views love as a feeling - and you should only act lovingly towards a person if you feel lovingly towards them. This is why many relationships and marriages turn into train wrecks. They don't see love as an action they agreed to make when they got married, and they don't see it as a commitment.

The Bible warns against our heart, and what we feel, in Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately sick" - I think most people would agree that if we only did things when we felt like it, we wouldn't do most things we do on a day to day basis. Most days, I didn't feel like going to school - but I went because I committed to going. Most days, I still don't feel like getting up to go to work, but I committed to being here, so I go. Why should love be any different? Why is that commitment the one that doesn't seem to matter anymore?

So, then, when people divorce because they simply "fell out of love" - what really happened is that they got lazy & selfish and decided to quit loving the other person. To quit serving, forgiving, understanding, etc.

C.S. Lewis speaks on this, saying "Do not waste time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did. . .When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."

Some days I will feel as if I love T, and I'm sure other days I may feel as if I don't. But when I take my vows before God and T, I am committing to love him every day for the rest of our lives. Even if I feel as if I would rather be selfish, I need to love him by serving him, being encouraging, and understanding. The opposite is also true, if we let ourselves continue to act as if we don't love each other, we may come to actually not.

Tim Keller brings the point home - "Love between two people must not, in the end, be identified simply with emotion OR merely with dutiful action. Married love is a symbiotic, complex mixture of both. Having said this, it is important to observe that of the two, it is the latter we have the most control over. It is the action of love that we can promise to maintain everyday. . .The ego rush (of passion) cannot be sustained and cannot take you very far down the road of learning to love the person you really married. . .You must stick to your commitment to act and serve in love even when-no, especially when-you don't feel much delight and attraction to your spouse. And the more you do that, you will find your more ego-heavy attraction being transformed into a love that is more characterized by a humble, amazed reception and appreciation of the other person. The love you will grow into will be wiser, richer, deeper, less variable."


  1. Love Tim Keller!!! Such a good topic, it's a choice, not a feeling!! Love that you define it is as a verb too!

  2. I've enjoyed your marriage posts! It's always nice read about love not about the feeling!

    Tomorrow starts a new Blog Challenge month. I'd be ecstatic if you'd take part :)

  3. Did you ever listen to the DC Talk (I think) song with the lyrics "love is a verb". That song is now running through my head. Haha.

  4. oh dear. now it's stuck in my head too!

  5. That Tim Keller quote is a great one. It's complex and often difficult, but it's also so worth it :)

  6. i don't think i have ever heard that song, but i'm gonna go look it up now! :)

  7. thank you so much!!! it was the greatest revelation when i realized that love is not really a "feeling" :)

  8. he is such a wise man!! :) it is such a choice - every single day!! :)
    thanks for your sweet words, friend!

  9. he is such a wise man! you are so right! :) very complex, often difficult, but very very worth it! :)