Love in Action Series: Love is more than a feeling
Love is more than a feeling
by: Dr. Dale Goodman
Love is a curious word. How would you define it? We all have different definitions and possibly, this is where so much confusion lies with couples. The way you define love may be totally different than your partner.
This may not be a problem for you, but for many couples this lack of understanding on how to give love and receive love can become detrimental. We set each other up with unrealistic expectations on love and we fail each other. It does not need to be this way.
What is love? This is a question many have asked. One dictionary defines it this way:
Love, n. – to care for, to be committed to, to have affection for; to extend good will; to be best of friends
In the context of a marital relationship, the bible reveals three types of love.
Phileo: Being best friends
Eros: Enjoying sexual intimacy
Agape: Staying committed for life
You will not always feel like loving your mate. Love is more than a feeling word it is an action word. It is choosing to step over the line of hurt, anger, indifference, selfishness and pride to care, to listen, to forgive and to be willing to serve each other.
Become a decision maker! Love is decisive! Love is determination! Love is diligence!
So often we stumble over our feelings of love. We start out on a honeymoon high, but soon the honeymoon is over and we begin to come back down to planet earth. Our feelings of love begin to wane and we begin to question our love. We often think something must be wrong. Where have all the loving feelings gone? The good news is that feelings are feelings and not the ultimate determinant for love. It is in our actions that true love is revealed.
One man came for counseling. He said that right after his marriage his feelings of love had disappeared toward his wife. This was of course very concerning for him. Even though this is unusual, there probably is a little bit of truth in this for all of us. We can often lose some of those mountain peak feelings of love and we need to know it is okay. It is part of being normal. We can’t always stay on the mountain peaks of life or love forever.
What is important here is to recognize that feelings come and go. When we base our love primarily on how we feel we are setting ourselves up for failure. This is not to say that we are not to have feelings, but it is when we place our total weight on our feelings that we can get into trouble. We begin to question, to doubt and to slowly give up on our marriage partner.
Remember: Love is not easy. Love takes effort. Love requires sacrifice. Love is not a feeling. It is an action.