What is love?
Love is a choice. A choice we make every day. That choice isn’t based on our feelings. Well maybe at first it is! 🙂
Most of us tend to focus on falling in love and use the feeling of love to determine the duration of a relationship. Falling in love is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either.
Of course, when a relationship is new, it is fun and enjoyable courting or being courted. In the beginning, we are constantly thinking about the new person in our life, and wanting to spend all of our time together and share new experiences together. We want to show how we feel by getting cards or flowers or just sending a cute text message.
Is it a feeling?
Feelings, however, can be fleeting. No one seems to want to talk about how those loving feelings can fade, that it takes work to keep the love alive, and that choosing to stay in love is a choice we all must make.
Who we love is as much of a choice as it is a feeling. Staying in love takes a commitment. After the rosy glow of the new relationship wears off, we have to make a decision: Do we want to love this person and commit to our marriage together, or are we going to let this person go when the tide rises?
Once we have made the decision that we have found the person we want to be with and commit to, the real work begins. A big part of that work is making many other choices.
It is a choice to see the good in our spouse every day, rather than focusing on the negative things that bother us. We have to accept them and love them as they are. If we go into a relationship thinking we can change someone, we are setting our relationship and ourselves up to fail. Expectations are the root of disappointment. We all have flaws and quirks and are weird in some ways. Accepting those differences is part of love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
We can choose to ignore the petty, irritating small things our spouse may do. If they forget to take out the garbage, or leave the cap off the toothpaste. Trying to change them into us is one of the biggest relationship mistakes we can make.
When we are unhappy with how things are in our relationship, it is easy to over focus on what we are not getting from the relationship. Instead, a healthier response is to see what we could be doing for our partner, rather than focusing on what they are not doing for us. We should always try to be supportive of our partner, because we cannot expect anything from our partner that we are not willing to give ourselves.
Another important choice we can make is to choose to remember the reasons why we committed to this person. Our relationship will not always be pleasant and there will be times for serious discussions and disagreement. There will be trying times and even bad times that we will need to work through together. The key to surviving these times is to remember to be respectful, acknowledge our commitment, and work through whatever is at hand together. During these times it really helps to remind ourselves of why we chose to love them in the first place.
All about choices
Love is all about choices. We choose to see the good, ignore the petty, look for what we could do for our spouse, and remember why we love them. Choosing to put in the effort to do these things is what love really looks like, and with that work comes the wonderful reward of staying in love.
I choose you Mike. Today and everyday for the rest of my life.
Your Proverbs 31