As a painfully hopeless romantic, Saturday (Valentine’s Day) was a great day. At one point in the night, I found myself on the couch eating chocolate chip scones, scrolling through pages of kids’ ideas of love, marriage, dating, holding hands, and all things Valentine’s Day-appropriate. Most were hilarious, but one has really stuck with me:
“Don’t say you love somebody and then change your mind. Love isn’t like picking what movie you want to watch.” — Natalie, age 9
Sweet Natalie, at just nine years of age, is wiser than she even realizes.
I see this “love” way too frequently in all types of relationships. An unfortunate many of friendships, dating relationships, and marriages have developed this flawed concept of love–this idea that it’s circumstantial, this idea that it is reversible.
“Love isn’t like picking what movie you want to watch.” When you pick which movie you want to watch, you browse through the options and decide which one sounds best to you. If you’re like me, the type of movie you’re feeling is dependent on your mood. Sometimes you want a tragic horror, but sometimes a rom-com and a gallon of ice cream is ideal. Unfortunately, this is how many people approach all kinds of relationships. Their love might not quite falter with each individual mood change, but it is hinged on fleeting circumstances.
God is love. We love because He first loved us. Anyone who does not love does not know God.
We know these to be true statements, but do we live them? What if God just decided one day to stop loving us? What if He just decided there was someone better or someone more lovable? What if a disagreement made him decide that he couldn’t be our friend and work in our favor anymore?
If love were based on what the other contributed to our well-being and happiness, I can say with great confidence that God would most certainly not love us. Everything we give God pails in comparison to that which He gives us, yet He loves us anyway.
God doesn’t look at his DVD shelf of humankind and choose who He wants to love. He doesn’t put one back when he’s done and grab another. Neither should we.
Our friendships, our relationships, and our marriages should be about committing to love because, in addition to being God’s greatest commandment, it is our greatest source of joy.
When we love like God does, we experience the unshakeable joy that comes only from Him.
We need to stop picking out movies and start treating love like the honor that it is.