Love Is More Than A Feeling
Love is not just an emotion someone feels for certain people. Love like that is not real and fades, and no relationship, or individual, can survive with that kind of “love.” Love is a choice a person makes daily: to love God and respect, revere, and serve and honor Him in all you say, think, and do and in your attitudes and behavior; to love yourself without ego, but in a way where you are confident of who you are and Whose you are, and that God loves you unconditionally, and that we are to show a healthy love for ourselves by taking good care of our bodies and not talking down to ourselves or abusing ourselves and not letting other people put us down or abuse us; and the decision (or choice) to love someone else no matter how many mistakes they make, how well or badly they treat you, or how perfect or imperfect they are. Nobody is perfect and everybody needs to be loved. God loves everyone, but we too are to make the choice to love not only our neighbors: family, friends, people who live near us, and co-workers or acquaintances, but we are to love our enemies too. Yes, we are to show compassion, kindness, and respect to those who show hate, anger, contempt, and disrespect to us.
Love is more than a choice for Christians. For anyone who desires to follow Jesus and be in a right relationship with Him, it is a command. It is the greatest command and has 2 parts, both of which can be found in Mark 12:29-31. The first commandment is: “The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. The second commandment is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Jesus said this in response to a religious teacher asking Him what the most important commandment was). Jesus gave an additional element to the 2nd most important commandment in John 15:12-13, where He said, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus showed us this kind of love the day He died for us on the cross to save us from our sins and heal us of all our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4 tells us Jesus bore our sickness and verse 5 says He was whipped so we could be healed.) By the wounds Jesus suffered, we find healing and by His death on the cross, we are saved if we accept what He did and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with Him.
When someone goes out of their way to show you the kind of love Jesus showed us, do not ignore them, throw it back at them, or treat them like they have the plague or as the scum of the earth. Let their unconditional love for you bring you closer to a soul-saving and loving relationship with Jesus (or back from the wrong path and back to a soul-saving relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus). And open your mind to God’s truth to believe and accept it and start living by it, and open your heart to receive God’s and Jesus’ unconditional love, and the unconditional love of the person offering it to you freely and openly, and purely. God said in Genesis 2:18 that “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Then after God brought all the animals He had created before creating the first man, Adam, to him to name them all, he put Adam into a deep sleep and created Eve from Adam’s rib. He used Adam’s rib so woman would be close to man’s heart, not under man to be stepped on or over man to be of higher authority than him. She is to be his equal, and to be held close, loved, and cherished. She is to be respected and cared for. Woman is meant to love, respect, and care for man too. For more about the relationship between a man and a woman read Ephesians 5:21-33, though this is specifically for a relationship between husband and wife. However, even before the wedding day, both men and women are to openly love, respect, honor and honor God and one another and take care of one another. There cannot be love or respect without communication, because communication lets you learn what is going on in the other person’s mind or heart. To love someone fully there must be both communication and spending time in one another’s company (in person whenever possible, but over the phone or video chat when not possible) and connecting on spiritual, mental, and emotional levels. Then when you are married, you can connect on a physical level that only married couples should be connecting on. Before the wedding there can be kissing and hand-holding and cuddles and hugs, as long as it does not lead to anything only married couples should be doing with one another within their marriage to their spouse. But a spiritual, mental, and emotional connection are necessary in order for the relationship to thrive and last. A willingness to be openly expressive of your love and of yourself (being yourself) is part of this equation too.
When your heart is open, it is true you could get hurt by either the wrong people, or sometimes by the right people who make mistakes. However, keeping your heart closed off cuts off your ability to receive God’s love and forgiveness, and so your ability to give love to yourself (unselfishly) or to anyone else and this creates a life of self-destructive behavior that will lead to death. It takes faith in God and courage to keep your heart open after being deeply hurt by others. But the reward outweighs the pain in the long-run. Being in a right relationship with Jesus, being able to receive and accept God’s love and forgiveness, (accept) Jesus’ healing power when it is needed, and being able to receive and accept love from the people in your life who truly love you (and show it in their actions to back up their words) will lead to a healthier and happier life here on earth. And eternal life in Heaven with Jesus and God is your other reward for staying open to Jesus, love, and God’s truth.
Someone in your life may have already expressed the kind of love Jesus told us to have for one another in John 15:12-13 and also have the aspects of true love given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Have you accepted it? Rejected it? If you have rejected it, it is not too late to turn your life around and give it (your life) to Jesus and make things right with the person who’s love you rejected if it is a love that is meant to be. If you have already accepted the right kind of love from the person you are meant to be with, then hopefully you are also in a right relationship with Jesus or taking steps to enter into one and keep it once you have it.
If someone who loves you gently tries to correct you, like we are told to do in God’s Word in Matthew 28:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, and Jude (1: ) 20-23, then do not feel condemned or judged by them, but know that they love you dearly and just want to ensure that your soul makes it to Heaven for eternity and not Hell. Sometimes when someone loves another person they see doing self-destructive things to themselves, they may try issuing some tough love, but it is still love. Consider their words and check what they said with what God’s Word says in the Holy Bible, and if what they said matches what God says, then you know the person loves you truly and unconditionally. Accept that into your heart and let it heal you. Let Jesus’ love for you heal you fully and make you whole. Only Jesus can make you whole. The purpose of the special woman (for a man, or man for a woman) that God picks for you is to help keep you centered in Jesus and to bring additional love, joy, and faith to your life. But these things (love, joy, and faith) must begin with Jesus. Jesus loves you as you are now, but will not stop wanting to help you grow into the person God created you to be. A person who truly loves you will do the same thing. You may see it as them trying to “fix you,” but they know only Jesus can do that, and what they want to do is bring out the person God created you to be from the inside of you to outside and bring it to full expression and maturity in Christ. When someone goes through the trouble of doing that and risking your relationship, that shows that they love you the way Jesus wants us to love one another and that your happiness and salvation of your soul are truly important to them. Keep such a person in your life and never let them go, as long as it is in your power to have them in your life. Otherwise, you will someday regret it and it might be too late to make things right, because tomorrow is never promised and Jesus could come back tonight or tomorrow, or could decide either your time is up or the other person’s time is up and then, it is too late. I say it again: Let Jesus into your heart and let his love and forgiveness heal you and make you whole. And let Him transform you to be more like Him so that you can find rest for your weary soul (Matthew 11:28-30), learn God’s perfect will for you (Romans 12:2) and to be able to carry out His will for you (Hebrews 13:20-21).
When you are more like Jesus, then your love will become more complete and you will be able to handle difficult situations better, handle rejection and realize that it is God redirecting you to something better, and all you say and do will please and honor God because you will speak and act from a place of love and a place of faith in God, and so your words and actions will be in alignment with God’s will. This goes with what I said about how loving, respecting, honoring, and obeying God will lead to an easier life for you and success in all areas of your life. It is not to say you will not still face bad times, but God will see you through those hard times and keeping your faith in Him during those times will bring you the ultimate reward of the crown of eternal life (James 1:12).
I will now give some of the Scriptures I mentioned below:
2 Timothy 2:24-26: “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.”
Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you for I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”
Romans 12:2: (I would read verse 1 about making your bodies a holy sacrifice to the LORD – which means being careful what you eat, drink, watch, and listen to and careful what you do with your body and the way you use it and then read verse 2, which says) “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.”
And if you already belong to the LORD and are right with Him, remember what Romans 8:1 says about condemnation: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” However, also heed the warning in Hebrews 10:26-31 about continuing to sin after you have been enlightened by the truth. But God’s truth will convict a person who has sinned, and all have sinned because as Romans 3:23 says, we all fall short of God’s measure, which is Jesus. Only Jesus is perfect. We are not called to be perfect, but called to be loving, respectful, reverent of God alone, and obedient to God and to be loving and respectful to ourselves and others second. The point is, if you feel condemned or judged, it is Satan doing it, not Jesus or someone who truly cares about you. It is very important to understand the difference. God loves you and has amazing plans for your life that will tie in to His plans for furthering His Kingdom, and when you choose to obey God’s commandment to love Him, yourself properly, and others in the right way, then you will find healing, success, and abundance in both spiritual and material blessings. And you will be confident in the LORD and will overcome all obstacles and make it through all difficult situations better off than before the obstacles or difficult situations started in your life, and your faith will grow as will your relationships with Jesus and with others.