Monday, February 20, 2017

I Love You, Man!

Puppy love, first love, and love at first sight are just some of the ways we describe one of the most life changing and heart wrenching emotions. However, as much as it is a powerful emotion, it also rivals as a significant choice.

In my greatest desire to be married, I often struggle with the reasons behind divorce especially when it stems from one of the pivotal things that brought a couple together in the first place. Love. Suddenly, love has become a thing instead of a precious commodity.

It becomes something to fall out of or go cold. Don't get me wrong, I used to understand why that would happen, especially when I was married, but I also used to believe that love equalled sex. The more sex that was had, the more loved I felt. The current realization that it was backward thinking has never been more true than it is now.

Especially when we live in an age where anything goes, sexually, and the consequences of having multiple partners while using little to no protection is the norm. That self gratification through pornography, prostitution, and human trafficking is much more realistic and acceptable than the raw vulnerability of expressing genuine love.

Have we taken the priceless treasure of love and ruined its reputation forever?

Love has also become a way to express an extreme like for food, books, or beverages. I have certainly been guilty of using that term when describing food. As a self-professed foodie, it's hard not be taken away by the sights, smells, and flavors of a new or favorite dish.

However, after many years of doing this, using the love word for inanimate objects that would later be consumed, felt shallow. When I became a Christian, a larger shift happened within that knocked me for a loop in the understanding of love.

The unconditional love being displayed to me then was not only beyond comprehension but in complete opposition to the definition once lived by. Not only did the emotion become significant and genuine but the word itself was a rare gem in need of protection.

That was the greatest change that happened. It has now opened an entirely different life journey book that could have sat on the shelf forever. Never opened, never explored, never appreciated.

The Bible speaks about love in a way that blows every romance novel out of the water. It verbalizes the wonder, depth, and intricacies of love expressed by a God that made the ultimate decision and sacrifice to save us in exchange for His only son's life. If that's not the epitome of love, then I am completely lost as to what is.

Giving one's life because of love...indescribable. Can you honestly say you would give your life for a complete stranger out of love? I would be hard pressed to do so. Asking if you would die for your child would probably elicit a different response.

Yes, while love is an immense emotion, the decision to exercise that love is far greater. It also takes determination and discipline to be consistent with that choice. It is not only a great desire to choose to love my future spouse but also those around me, right now.

Encouragement for the week:

Sometimes it's hard to love a stranger who rubs us the wrong way, a spouse who is distant, or a difficult family member.

In my decision to live this year with intent, I encourage you to make a decision to love those who challenge you in the love department. Let it be something that becomes greater in you which will, ultimately, prevent anything or anyone from stealing your joy in life.

Set yourself free by loving when it seems like no one else is. It's liberating and character building.

If you are a Christian, you know that God loves you and desires a relationship with you so that His love for us can be the same love we have for others.

If you are not a Christian and wonder where real love can be found, you can find it in God and in Jesus. Look for Him and you will find Him.

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