Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 John 4:7-21

Today's reading is all about love and love perfected. If we love one another, we can't hate our brother we are told. The rest of it seems to be some pretty deep theology that is difficult to understand unless we pick it apart. The bottom line is we are to allow God's love to flow through us towards all people, even those we don't particularly like. But, sometimes that is difficult even in the best of circumstances, because we just don't always feel like loving - anyone.

What do we do when that happens? What do we do when we don't feel love... and, what if the person we mostly don't love, is our spouse? After all, that is the person we are committed to loving, in sickness and in health and all of that, right? But what if we don't feel like it and all our spouse seems capable of doing is jumping on our last nerve? Or, even worse, we don't feel anything at all when we are with them - not anger, not disdain, not love, not anything.

I think really love isn't a feeling. I don't think we always feel love like we think we should or movies tell us we should. I think love is a choice. We choose how we treat another, we choose how we act, how we respond. We choose to act in love - or not. We aren't always going to feel like being kind, or patient or long-suffering. But we choose to do so in spite of how we feel. The feelings of love come and go. We must remember, marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. We aren't always going to feel great and sometimes we'll "hit the wall" to use a runners metaphor but if we push through that wall and just choose to keep going even though there are times we don't feel we want to take one more step, we just might find that we do indeed have the stamina to finish the race.

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