In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action.” ~ RC Sproul
One of the mistakes we make concerning love (whether it’s our friend, spouse, children, parents, or enemy) is to believe we will always feel loving. Y’all, it ain’t’ going to happen. How could it? At one time or another, we all behave – aggravating, selfish, and disappointing. There are times sweet can’t be found in us.
I thought it would be a cool reminder on Valentine’s Day that love is action. I like what C.S. Lewis has to say about it:
Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did”
I have found that feelings often follow action. There are many times I don’t feel like doing something, but after I do it, I’m glad I did. Like exercise. Or the time I forgave when I wanted to pinch someone :)
When our behavior is loving, our feelings can change. It also helps to remember that we are hard to love at times too. Just ask those who live with us.
Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” NLT
So there we go. We must figure out how to overcome our unloving feelings. This kind of love flows from God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
How would we act if we felt loving?
We then pray for Holy Spirit power to help us behave in a way that we are not feeling at the moment. Our feelings are in the process of being redeemed. This is faith. Faith in God to empower us to be more like Jesus.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
You already know (because we have been discussing boundaries, trust, and healthy relationships) that loving someone with godly love does not equal trust or acceptance of abuse in any form. There are some folks we must love from afar. We are talking about love in a healthy context.
So, let’s show love more freely. In our culture today, we tend to act on our feelings. The challenge is this: Can we lay our hateful feelings at Jesus’ feet and access the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us to show love? With God’s help, we can.
Lord, help us to love others well. You modeled healthy love for us. Our ability to love comes from You because You first loved us. In the name of Jesus, Amen