Ah, l’ amour.
The thing that makes men and women do silly things to impress each other. The thing that makes people giddy, nervous, anxious, and nauseous. The thing that makes the stomach flip-flop, the heart race, and the palms sweaty.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
All those things may seem like love to many young people looking for a new or first relationship. Some may base their love for a crush on a feeling—butterflies in their stomach. Yes, some forms of love are based on emotion, but emotions are fleeting due to the nature of changing hormones and chemical reactions in the brain (dopamine and norepinephrine, for example, which are chemicals the brain releases when we feel attraction). It’s when the emotional high of love wears off that love becomes much more than what we feel. It becomes a conscious decision.
We choose to love a person and stay committed to that person. And in this same way must we approach our relationship with God.
One doesn’t have true love if he or she only loves his or her spouse when things are going well. One doesn’t truly love God if he or she only loves God during Sunday and Wednesday service.
True love is a constant, daily decision.
What is more important than choosing whom we will marry and love for the rest of our earthly life is choosing whom we will serve for all eternity.
God chooses to love us despite our flaws. No matter how much we error, He still welcomes us back into His Presence with open arms. And so, we must choose to love and stay committed to Him. Every morning, we must renew our love for the One Who loves us unconditionally. We must choose Him each day and fall deeper in love with Him.
Love, real love, is not temporary or based on what we feel in any given moment. That’s why spouses who truly love each other can stay married to each other despite having disagreements. They’ve already made up their mind to love their spouse no matter what.
Charity—true love, agape love—endures all things and does not fail (see 1 Corinthians 13).
This is the kind of love that will never fade. If we model our love for others after Jesus’ love for us, then it will endure forever, rooted not in our emotion but rooted in our determination.
This Valentine’s day (whether you’re single, dating, or married), choose to set time aside to celebrate God’s unconditional love for you. Renew your decision and commitment to serve and love Him with all of yourself.
Love Him because He first loved you.
This is the most important decision you will ever make.