If you asked many people what love is I think the answers would include things like, ‘It’s a warm fuzzy feeling’, ‘It’s something that overwhelms you & makes you do crazy things’ or ‘It’s a force of nature’. Some people may even say love is a physical act.
I have been a Christian over 12 years & married almost 7. Love is something often talked about in the circles we socialize in. It has taken me a while to realize that the true love of Father God, the deep love of loving no matter what is not something you always feel but more something you choose to do. Also that much of the time we think we automatically love like Christ did/does, loving unconditionally. What I realized is you never actually know if you love unconditionally until it’s tested. Do we still love a person when we have been hurt, let down, disappointed or confused by them? When the boundaries we have placed around our relationships & the things we expect from those relationships are tested that’s when we have to make the decision to love, to truly love unconditional.
The Bible clearly tells us what love is and is not in the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13
‘Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. Love will never become obsolete.’
When we look at what is says here it really shows us that love is often something we have to choose to do. All the things listed here: patience, kindness, not envious, not boastful, are things we often do the opposite of without even thinking about it. I often say patience is not my strong point, I’m quite a visionary person and when I see things I think “Lets do it now!” Sometimes that is great but when working with a team it isn’t always fruitful as it often leaves the people behind that you need by your side for the vision to come to pass. I have to make a decision to be patience whilst other people catch the same vision so we can run together with it. The things it says that love is again seem to be a choice, when we are wronged we naturally respond by being upset, even angry but we have to trust God to put any injustice right and also need to be big enough to say in the long term does this really matter? Maybe God is allowing this thing to knock some rough edges off me. One of the big ones in this is ‘Love puts up with anything’. Sometimes we just have to choose to love someone and just stand and believe the best is yet to come. God did it for us and continually does it, even when we have been rebellious against Him or tested by Him. He has still loved us, still stood for us and still believes in us. Romans 5:8 But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.
So having been saved, married and in ministry many years I have begun to ask myself do I know how to love? My honest reply has to be ‘I’m learning’. To do that I continually have to make the choice to ‘love on purpose’. It’s not always what I feel like doing; it’s not always what I want to do because it’s not always easy. But the deep question in me is do I really want to be more like Jesus, to know Him more & make Him known. That is a simpler question because my answer is always a big YES!
For us we are choosing to be a couple and a ministry that ‘love on purpose’, this isn’t the easiest road and it’s going to be a daily choice. Our challenge to you is to join us and choose to love on purpose.