To use a child’s example, we all know, to love ice cream doesn’t mean we’d marry it. I think we also get confused with being ‘in love’, and loving someone.
You might be confused, aren’t they the same? I don’t think so.
You see, you can be in love with someone but that doesn’t actually mean you love them. We can see how this works in newly weds.
Marriage counsellors talk about ‘marriage expectations’. Long story short, if you have unrealistic expectations there’s a good chance you’re in love with, but you don’t love the person. In this case, love can be selfish. It’s about what I feel for the person.
Feeling something for and loving someone aren’t the same thing.
So, how do we know we love someone and are not merely ‘in love’.
Ask yourself this question. Could I still choose to act in the best interests of the other person even if they don’t act in mine? In the case of a marriage, could I do this until we are parted by death?
Love isn’t about what we feel toward a person. It’s about how we choose to act toward them. This is a much more wholesome and vibrant type of love because it’s not dependant on feelings or on another person’s response to me. It’s dependant on what I choose.
“greater love has no man that he lay down his life for his friends”,
and it is said of Jesus, He died for those who were sinners, evil, even those who were his enemies!
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
So, love isn’t ‘love’ after all. It’s way bigger than that.