Love is Not a Feeling
Through the years of counseling and mentoring people, one thing that I see people inherently believe often is that love is a feeling. But this always backfires in a variety of ways: when their partner does something stupid, the couple doesn't invest in the relationship leading to fading feelings, children grow from cute to infuriating. And of course the examples don't end there, but you get the picture. No, love is not a feeling, it's a choice.
It's a choice, that despite my spouse's mistakes I will choose to forgive, work through it, and move through the healing process. It's a choice to invest in a relationship I'd rather leave behind. It's a choice to respond gently when all I want to do is scream.
In my marriage, this has been a key point for me to remember. After being with the same man for 18 years, as you can imagine "love" - the feeling we have for one another when we started dating - has certainly faded. We've gone through some really REALLY tough things and when I thought it would have been easier to run, to quit, to move on, I choose to love instead. Was it easy? Hell no. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Choosing love, more often than not, means I'm saying no to selfish desires and no to staying comfortable.
When I choose love, it means I'm actively trying to find a way to engage and participate in moving things forward.
Where did I discover this? Jesus. He choose love... dying on the cross wasn't giving him "warm and fuzzy" feelings. Carrying the weight of our rebellious decisions, to wipe our slate clean, wasn't an exciting adventure. No. It was a choice which matches God's character: love.