How many times have we heard it at a wedding ceremony?
Reread it during a sermon or a devotion?
Purchased a greeting card or a decoration adorned with it?
Love never fails. It is the culmination of the Bible’s love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
How many times have I really listened to it?
How many times have I understood its meaning?
How many times have I written it on my heart and applied it to my life?
This morning was another instance of a “Love Chapter Sermon.” I admit, at the start of it, I was listening in somewhat of a rote way, if that is possible to do. The speaker was engaging and the message was strong, but I didn’t feel like I needed to apply it. Life is fine. Marriage is strong. Kids are good. Friends are friends. Parents are called daily. I got the love thing covered.
And then I heard a particular point being stressed for a third or fourth time.
Love is not a feeling.
Feelings lie to us.
So this morning, when I had been trying fitfully to sleep since 2am, and my husband awoke me with a less than sympathetic attitude at 6am, I wasn’t feeling love. And when we disagreed about why our 7-year-old had been up since 2am and how to handle it, I wasn’t feeling love. And when she tried to talk me into a day off school, even though she’d spent the last two hours giggling on the couch while watching Zack & Cody, I was not feeling love.
But I had to show love anyway, because God put them in my life to cherish.
Some days, my love is shown in extravagant ways: heart shaped sandwiches, special outings, extra attention, complete selflessness. But most days, because we live in a busy, attention-dividing world, it’s much more mundane –
– the lunch is packed
– the kitchen in cleaned
– the homework is checked off
– the groceries are stocked
– the bus stop is manned
…even if I don’t feel like making my 12-zillionth peanut butter and jelly, and I do feel like leaving the dishes in the sink and the crumbs on the counter…even if I think the homework is unnecessary or we should just eat noodles for dinner all week…or I secretly wish everyone would just leave me alone for a day…
I wonder what Jesus felt like –
when His friends abandoned Him.
when His family doubted Him.
when His fellow rabbis chastised Him
when His followers forgot Him
when His brothers denied Him
when His father turned His back on Him
He loved them all enough to die for them.
When I ignore Him, belittle Him, disobey Him, show Him ungratefulness, compromise Him – He loves me…enough to die for me.
Love is not a feeling.
And love is not what we read about in novels or see in movies.
Love is not even what we felt on our wedding day or when our children were first placed in our arms.
Love is God… and God NEVER fails!
I choose Him.