One of the things I've learned about love is that it is an action, not a feeling. Oh sure, sometimes we feel it. Sometimes it almost hurts because we feel it so strongly. But those feelings are very inconsistent. Fleeting.
Love doesn't mean we go down to the homeless shelter and feel our hearts swell and our eyes well up at the sight of these people we love so much. That might happen, in time. But love is being at the shelter in Jesus' name to care for people as He would if He still wore flesh.
Love is washing your husband's underwear and socks even though you are tired of hunting them out like easter eggs.
Love is hugging your kids even though they've just shredded your last nerve.
Love is babysitting for your neighbor when she is too sick to stand up. Even though she is abrasive and nosey.
Love is bending down to pick up something that someone dropped at the grocery store. Even if she just criticized your parenting the minute before.
When my mom goes to the nursing home every week - that is love.
Motives and attitudes are important. We need to do these love-actions out of a heart that wants to honor God. The Bible says when we do something kind to someone, we are doing it to Jesus. We can't do the love-actions and have a hate-attitude. But we can do the love- actions with a love-attitude and have an "I don't like you" feeling. Because our actions and our attitudes are what we have control over.
So, we don't have to like the people we love. We don't have to feel good about them. We just love them.
I also think love is a perspective. It's how we view people. I'll write about that on Wednesday.