Okay, so you're probably wondering what the title of this post refers to. Well, this was actually the title of my pastor's sermon this past sunday. For the month of February, my church is participating in a series entitled "The Vow." By the name of this series, you might automatically assume it's nothing but a way to speak to the married couples in our congregation...WRONG. It of course has a lot to do with this, but whether you're married, in a long-term relationship, or even single, there is something to be learned from this sermon series. I got so much out of it, that I wanted to share it with anyone who would listen.
So...what does love have to do with anything? There are two answers. The first answer is Absolutely Nothing. The second, is Ultimately Everything. Here, let me explain...in John 13:34-35, Jesus gives a command that is often forgotten:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love on another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
When I first heard this, I was a little taken back. I've never really thought of love being a command from God; I've just done it. I'm the kind of person who tries to be nice to anyone, whether they've hurt me or not, which sometimes means I get called things like a pushover. Anyways, I'm getting off topic. When you think of love, what do you think about? Merriam Webster's Dictionary had a lot of different answers- strong affection for another person, an object of attachment or devotion, and even an attraction based off of sexual desires. These are all typical answers that people in today's society may think or say is their definition of love. Well, not that any of these were my definition, but I certainly had never thought about the definition I received from my pastor.
He told our congregation to treat love not as an emotion, but a promise to another person. I guess I'd just never thought about it that way, but it really makes more sense. People tend to think of love as something passionate, with warm fuzzy feelings and butterflies that last forever. I do to a certain extent...I've dated the same guy for about three years now & I'm proud to say that I still have those fuzzy feelings when I see him, but I know that in long-term relationships, those feelings don't always last. My pastor went on to say that when couples say "I do," they're relationship is full of passion and those warm feelings. More often than not, when those feelings fade, they tend to feel that their relationship is dying or some even may try to find those feelings elsewhere from others. God commands each and every one of us to love each other, even when we don't feel like it, or more specifically when those "fuzzies" are gone. An emotion can't be commanded, but actions can. Love should be treated as a verb; something we do for others when we feel like, when we don't, or until we feel like it. Just like when there are times you don't feel very close in your walk with God...does that mean you should give up on that relationship? When you stand before God and vow to love this person for the rest of your lives, it's a promise to make things work, even when they aren't in the best of times.
Although I'm not married, and don't plan on being so for a while, it was great insight into my current relationship and advice that can last me for the rest of my life. I'm really looking forward to the next 3 Sundays in this series! Until then...thanks for listening!