Love sometimes is a touchy subject when trying to figure it out or giving ones opinion. I know I have a totally different definition of love now than I did, say in my 20s to mid 30s a more mature definition if you will. When I was a child my first example of love came from my mother, she loved me unconditionally. I could see the love in her eyes as well as the disappointment when she had to discipline me for doing the wrong thing. I could hear the love in her voice when we had long talks and she told me to never be afraid to tell her anything, and to come to her because she loved me and would only help and protect me always. She showed me in the way she took care of me by cooking for me, making sure I had clothes, shoes and shelter. The way she held my hand tightly as we walked together, when she smiled and waved goodbye when I went to school. Sometimes the look on her face was like it was the last time she would see me, then when I returned home I was greeted with the biggest brightest smile I’d ever seen. I knew beyond a doubt I was loved by my mother because she showed me, don’t get me wrong she told me as well but, the greatest manifestation of her love towards me was in her actions.
So, when I was in high school I had a boyfriend, here’s where my understanding got a little twisted and I forgot love is an action word. (smile) As I was saying I had a boyfriend who would say he loved me yet, he hurt me and lied to me constantly. However, because I loved him and wanted desperately for him to love me back I allowed the behavior to continue. I think is a common mistake a lot of young ladies make, sometimes we think that if we love them enough they will love us back, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maya Angelo says,” when someone shows you who they are believe them.” Which points again to love being an action word. My mother in law (God rest her soul) also gave me some valuable advice to that same point, she said “you can show somebody better than you can tell them.”
In the Bible God shows his love for us by sending his only begotten son to die for our sins and, all we have to do is believe in him and we can have everlasting life. God also tells us in his word if we love him we will keep his commandments. Also faith without works is dead, another example of action being put behind words. I could go on and on but I think you are getting the point. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice, a decision made manifest by action, sacrifice and work.
After being married for some years and studying the word of God I’d say by the time I hit my 40s I had a pretty good knowledge of how love works. When I had my first child, I began to understand the sacrifice part of love. Prior to her coming into the world my only concern was my own needs even as a wife I felt like he was a grown man and could take care of himself. However my baby needed me so I made sacrifices to ensure she had everything she needed even if it meant I had to go without. That lesson made me a better wife.
It was easy for me to love my baby unconditionally and make sacrifices for her because she was flesh of my flesh and she loved me back unconditionally, in her eyes I could do no wrong. It’s not that easy in a marriage, this is when I learned the decision and work part of love and that it wasn’t a feeling. As a wife I learned my husband was not always lovable, sometimes I didn’t feel like loving him. I had to learn how to love him when I didn’t feel like it. Loving someone when you don’t feel like it means you have to decide to love even when you don’t feel like the love is being reciprocated. Let me explain, when we get married we enter into not only a covenant with our husband but with God also. In that covenant we promise to love our husband period, not only if we feel loved. That’s when the work part of love comes into action, in order to accomplish this we have to start looking at our husband the way God sees him and by doing that it changes the negative to a positive making it easier to love. Also let me say, we are not always lovable to God, but he loves us anyway. God says in his word nothing can separate us from his love, that’s because he made a decision to always love us, much like the decision we made when we promised to love our husbands.