What is true love?
Is it the butterflies you feel in your tummy when that cute guy or gal says a few words to you?
Is it that feeling of flying after your first date with the future love of your life?
Is it the comfortable feeling you get when surrounded by family members?
Is it shown by cards, gifts, and flowers?
What is true love?
I recently heard John MacArthur say something like this —
True love can only happen when we cross the barrier of our emotions.
Yes. That’s it.
We can’t truly love someone until we can cross the barrier of our emotions.
Our emotions can be so misleading, can’t they? They tell us we love someone when we think good things about them or have good feelings towards them. They tell us we no longer love them when we think hateful things about them or have angry feelings towards them.
And yet true love has nothing to do with emotions. Only when we cross this enormous barrier of emotions can we experience true love.
I think it may be especially hard because we have been conditioned to live our lives based on our emotions. From easy access to abortions and no-fault divorces to the feeling-driven worship in our churches — we have based almost all of our actions on our feelings. Very little value is placed on deliberate actions taken that go against our feelings. Very little value is placed on forcing our thoughts to go a different direction than our feelings take us.
that leads to shallow living on all accounts. And not very much love.
God doesn’t really care about how we feel as we sway to the music of the worship team. He doesn’t care how we feel when we hold the hand of our newest love. While I am sure he delights in that, his main concern is our obedience. And obedience comes at a great price.
But only with obedience (which will mean turning away from our emotions) can we truly understand what love really is.
There are many times I do not feel like I love my husband. But those feelings always pass. I cannot rely on them to be the barometer of my love for him.
Life is hard, but it is made much harder by the fact that we base so much of our lives and life-changing decisions on our feelings.
We need to cross that barrier — and, yes, it takes purposeful and diligent work to do so — to experience true love as God designed it.