The sensation we call “falling in love” isn’t actually love. It can’t be, for two main reasons:
- The sensation
- Love is a choice and, as a Christian, should be a lifestyle
This article could very easily seem like a wet blanket here to smother your fantasies or a new crush or relationship. Logic seems so contrary to love in today’s world. Love being a feeling brought on by hormones seems crazy, too. Especially when we think about the strange things hormonal people say, do, and eat. Hello teenagers and hormonal women. Just saying.
The Bible tells us a lot about how we should live and what we should pursue (Matt. 5-7), and what to look for in a spouse (Prov. 31, Tit. 2, 2 Tim. 3, 1 Tim. 3, Col. 3), and well as things to avoid (2 Tim. 3, Prov. 5). Based in Scripture, our logic and common sense will have an easier time guiding our feelings. Our feelings will also be reigned in naturally from reading, studying, and understanding Scripture.
Our love choices are also determined by what we understand love to be. We’ve done a few studies on it this year (God’s Definition of Love is a good one to start with), but God’s Word is where we learn what love truly is (particularly in 1 Cor. 13). For a practical example of choosing who we love, though, let’s look at Luke 10:30-35:
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
If you know the story, you know that Jesus is making a point about loving one’s neighbor. We know that the Samaritan loved his neighbor, while the priest and Levite did not. Here’s the thing, though. To a Samaritan, loving a Jew was probably the most disgusting thing they could think of. And Jews thought the same about Samaritans. The good Samaritan had to make a hard, conscious choice to love and care for that Jew.
So if love could beat the cultural disgust of centuries, it can beat your hormones as well.