Love is a choice. Love is a sacrifice. Love is an action. Love is a verb.
We carelessly toss and bat this word around as if it’s a tennis ball on a court. For so many, it holds very little meaning or truth. For some, I love you has become a routinely-used departing phrase.
In relationships, love and infatuation are used interchangeably. You are drawn to a person and want to be with them so it must be love. It’s possible to be obsessed with someone and not love them. Love is not merely a word; it requires action. Really, it should mean I choose you first.
I often hear my boys trying to bargain with each other. “I will love you if you do xyz.” This morning, I heard myself tell them: “Love isn’t contingent on what they do for you. Love is sacrificing whether they’re nice or not.”
It’s choosing someone else’s desires and preferences over your own.
It’s choosing to admit you’re wrong even if you aren’t.
It’s choosing to do what another person wants rather than what you want.
It’s choosing to give another credit rather than yourself.
It’s choosing to take the blame rather than passing it.
It’s choosing to relinquish power or pride.
It’s choosing to refrain from spewing out unkind words.
It’s choosing to give up your life for another.
It’s choosing to stop in the middle of a fight rather than continuing on toward the – in most cases – pointless win.
It’s saying “You know what? I love you too much to fight with you.”
It’s giving of your precious time to spend it with someone else.
It’s switching your plans for another.
It’s giving of your precious money to help another.
It’s choosing to be happy for another even though they have what you wanted.
There is no love without sacrifice.
Loving another is so important because we have Someone who already set the example for us. God sent His only Son to be beaten and killed because He loved us that much! (John 3:16)
Yet, we can’t even give up our money, desires, time, possessions, expectations, pride or arguments for the sake of another.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:11, 19
**Of course, to choose to love another as we’re commanded, we must first choose God above all else. For more on that, read here.