Me, myself, my progress, my career, my house, my achievements.. the list keeps growing and this is what the world focuses on. It’s about materialism and it’s task oriented. Measurements of success are based on productivity, performance and maximum output. People don’t have time for one another let alone for a significant other. Relationships are pushed aside or given the least of priorities in order to be a part of the rat race. Reproduction is also postponed for later and later. Love? Feelings? They take time, why rush it? Let it take it’s time to develop. This in a nutshell is the worldly ways of today.
What does Jesus say?
God puts so much of emphasis on love. Jesus clearly states that the two greatest commandments sum up all the law and commandments and are centred around love. LOVE God with your ALL being the first and LOVE your neighbour as yourself being the second.
Loving isn’t an option for a believer,
it’s a commandment and hence it goes to show it’s a decision, not a feeling.
A feeling is an emotional state or reaction which is temporal and keeps changing, while love is beyond that and intentional. I just saw this quote,
“feelings are just visitors, let them come and go” – anon!
The Greek language has four different words for LOVE – and the New Testament being written originally in Greek, employs these terms. AGAPE is love in the social or moral sense, the love that is about the good will of others and is the love God has for us and the love we have for Him. It is also the ‘love’ that is used in the second commandment, the love for our neighbours. EROS is the sexual love between a couple, erotic love. PHILEO is the love between one another as in friendship. STORGE is the love and affection that is felt by parents for offspring and between family members. According to Wikipedia, this is the same term used when referring to love for country or sports too.
The world may focus and emphasise on doing and tasks over love and relationships. Is it then of any wonder that God calls us to NOT CONFORM to the ways of the world but let our minds be renewed by His ways. Jesus clearly states that our FIRST priority is to seek God’s Kingdom AND His righteousness. God’s Kingdom is His rule and reign and it’s today in the lives of those who believe in Jesus and are led by His Spirit. Expansion of His Kingdom is to bring more people to love HIM with their all.
It is only by our love for one another that we will be known as His disciples – according to Jesus’ words that is! Not by our words and not by our thoughts but by our acts of love with the standard ‘as yourself’. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself. Then there is also the love your enemy commandment!
Many Christians are ‘fearful’ of the word LOVE as that’s how the world is. Yet if we believe and if we have learnt to surrender to God’s love and His embrace, then loving isn’t difficult as it is with HIS love that we love… We want to love others as we love HIM and we want to please HIM. As we soak in HIS love, His love flows in us, within us and through us.
As for those who are scared of relationships, because of past hurts or because the values picked up from the world, no it’s not a feeling but a decision. The base for a good relationship is a good friendship.. It’s pointless being in a relationship with someone who you can’t be friends with let alone someone who you can’t share and talk about your faith with being on sync. LOVE doesn’t take time to develop as it is from God and it is intentional. If your base is godly friendship then you already have your phileo and agape love. and if the sexual chemistry has developed then of course that’s the basis for a relationship. Obviously it also has to be in God’s Will so you pray asking God to reveal.
Over time of getting to know one another though, you get to know the ‘fruit’ of each other – are they speaking words of deceit and flattery or is what they speak how it is! Is the friendship a real connection or pretense?
Of course, for godly friendships (regular friendships) unless there are adverse situations of abuse or unholiness (we flee from unholiness) we keep loving one another, not based on feelings but because that’s what we are called to do!