Friday, April 17, 2009

Love: Feeling or Commitment?

Love: Feeling or Commitment?
Written by Steve Popoola on February 16th, 2009

Movie producers creatively represent love as something which brings a man and a woman together. In many cases, there are so many reasons why these two people should not be together. It could be differences in race, colour, religion or parental bias. In a number of cases, the main characters have reasons to hate each other and ensure that they let the other person know that they could never have reason to relate together as friends. Being romantically involved would be just imagining the impossible.

Then something happens. Fate brings them together and suddenly, the feelings they never knew was there comes to the surface. They struggle with it over and over again, until they can’t fight it anymore and then they come to realize that they love each other deeply. Thus, an unlikely relationship is born. Together they fight all opposition and cling to each other and somehow, they win at the end. Not all the romantic movies end happily. Take for instance the movie, ‘Titanic’. The guy freezes to death while ensuring that his lover survives.

It is images like this that people remember during St Valentines day, which has by the way, been heavily commercialized just like Christmas and Easter. A lot of stories had been passed down over the years about the origin of St Valentine’s day but I read recently, that a Catholic Priest in Rome said that the Saint which should be venerated on February 14th should be St Francis and not St Valentine.

But is love really a feeling as portrayed by these movies? As Christians, our instructional manual is the Bible. Although sometimes love is used with reference to feelings, yet it is not merely a feeling. Love is the Bible portrays it, is an action born out of a commitment.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3;16)

Let us look at the first part, ‘God loved the world’. I do not think that God liked what he saw in the world. In fact, the Bible says that when God saw the evil that man did, He wished that He had never created man. God however did not undo what He had created, rather, He made a commitment in the second part of that verse, ‘that He gave His one and only Son’

Jesus told the disciples, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:34,35)

In essence, Jesus is saying, your actions will show people that you love one another! It is not the rapturous look on your face or the loving words; these are good and they have their place, but it is in the commitment!

Ask a couple who have been together for 20 or 30 years, what has kept them together. It is commitment. The feelings are good but the glue that cements a relationship, is the commitment. When you are committed to a person, you do everything to ensure that person’s well being, even when you don’t feel like doing so.

As Christians, let us have a genuine understanding of what love is and let us not be carried away by the world’s definition of love. The world’s kind of love is fake, transient and deceptive. God’s kind of love however, is deep, genuine and can be relied upon.

God loves you and so do I.© Biblepraise Fellowship Online, February 2009
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria with wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works in the IT department of a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Heads the Music Ministry in his local church . He loves to encourage and inspire through speaking forums. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, steve@biblepraise.org

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