Monday, July 7, 2008

what is love, anyway?

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.


  1. "So, we don't have to like the people we love. We don't have to feel good about them. We just love them."


  2. I have read your last 2 post, and they are very thought awakening. I think we all are under the false thinking that you have to "feel" love to love. I'm glad you posted these thoughts. These years with my girls (pre & teen) have taught me that you have to love even when someone is not very lovable or loves you back. You go by what you know (I know I love them & they love me) not by what you feel (aaaagh! :)) lol

  3. There are people in my church and in the nursing homes that I love because Christ loves them, but I don't like them sometimes. I wouldn't be friends with them otherwise, I guess I'm saying.

  4. Great definition of Love - or agape love flowing through us.

  5. oh I love your work! Very glad to have surfed here from Monday Through Sunday and your books blog.

    I especially resonate with this post. My boyfriend and I call this commitment; I often think of it as duty and therefore burdensome. But to see it as a vital component - the defining one, actually, of love gives it a wonderful perspective. :)


I love to hear your thoughts!