Monday, February 11, 2008

Real Love

Well, it's that time of year once again. The time of year when you spend four times the regular cost for roses. The time of year when you get away with going off your diet to eat chocolate and other assorted candies. The time of year when everything in retail stores appears as if a bottle of Pepto-Bismol exploded. The time of year when you have to make reservations for two at virtually any restaurant, even Waffle House. If you don't you'll end up eating at Krystal.

Valentine's Day.

It's the day each year when we celebrate love. The day we make time to spend with that special someone in our life. It's a day when we CHOOSE to show our love for our significant others more than we normally do.

Perhaps you have never thought about it, but real love is not a feeling - it's a choice. A feeling, often times, is something that simply cannot be helped. When two people meet, click, and have chemistry, love has not entered the equation. Intrigue has. Perhaps admiration. But not love.

Love is not how I feel about someone; it's something I do. I DO love. Many times I'll say to Amy, "I love you." And, sometimes, she'll ask "Why?" Usually I am at a loss for words because WHY you love someone is difficult to articulate.

Now, I could tell her all day HOW I love her - things I do, words I speak, gifts I purchase. But, WHY is tough.

But, really, I love Amy because I CHOOSE to love her. And, you are no different when it comes to your significant other - IF you truly love them.

Unfortunately, more than half the couples in our country confuse the feelings associated with being "in love" for REAL love. When you are swept up in the emotions of being "in love" you are simply FEELING good because your circumstances are favorable. Most of the time, "in love" couples are not dealing with reality. They aren't balancing work schedules with kids' schedules. They aren't balancing a checking account. They aren't balancing personal time with quality couple time. Why? Because they're "in love" and they are oblivious to reality (more or less).

So, when the Righteous Brothers start singing to these 50%-plus couples who have "lost that lovin' feeling," bad things happen - unless both the man and the woman make a CHOICE. A choice to continue to love one another.

Think about it. If real love came naturally, why would Jesus have to remind us so often that we are to love? In fact, when he was asked what the two most important Commandments were, his response was essentially to love. To love God above all else, and to love others as we love ourselves.
And, he only had to say this because he knew that ultimately it was up to us to make a choice to love.

This Valentine's Day - whether you're half a couple or not - make the choice to love. Not only that day, but each and every day. Don't base your love on a feeling or on a set of circumstances. Base it on the fact that your Savior chose to love you above all else.

Choose to love.

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