It's so common to hear couples talk about falling out of love with one another or to watch people become divided by hate because they don't have enough commonalities to naturally “feel” love at all times.
But what if we shifted our perspective and chose to make love a VERB rather than a FEELING?
“Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Now, this doesn't mean we should “act” as if we love but never let it penetrate our hearts. Sometimes love shows up as an active commitment, but, eventually, it should reside in our hearts as well.
Love is an action-producing word. If we tell our loved ones “I love you” but never have any way of showing this to be true, it's doubtful the people around us would believe our words. And soon we won't believe ourselves either.
The world sends a message that as soon as our needs aren't met or if a person wrongs us, they are no longer worthy of the love we have to give.
The messages say:
“If you don't feel love anymore, it's time to move on.”
“If that person really loved you, he would make sure you were happy.”
“You must feel complete to really love her.”
But these messages are not true. Just as God gives us love without limits, we must actively love one another as Christ loves us. Love is recognizing that the ebb and flow of emotions shouldn't devalue the commitment.
The feelings of love cannot be compared to others experiences of love. If you play the comparison game, you will always feel as though you lack in this area. Be confident in the fact that YOU DO and WILL love those around you. Commitment must be the foundation in which the feelings can grow.
So HOW do we make love a verb? Here are a few suggestions:
Even when people around you don't deserve it, serve them! Recognize and identify the needs, step-in, and serve!
Try to put yourself in others' shoes and empathize with what they are feeling. Listen, and even if you don't agree with the person's perspective, try to see things from a new lens. Here is a great post about how to better empathize.
Put your own happiness and fulfillment to the side now and then by sacrificing for your loved one's happiness! Someone has to make the first step. Love equals sacrifice.
Speak what you love. When you affirm another person, you're not only making that person feel good, but you are also reminding yourself the many things you love about him/her!
Tell us in the comments, how do YOU make love a verb?