Love is a Decision, Not a Feeling – The Courage to Love in Marriage
“Love” is the most talked about, written, sung, contemplated subjects we as Human beings have ever had to live with. It’s probably because it’s the most misunderstood, ill used, overused and abused concept known to Humankind.
There are hundreds of resources that debate whether or not Love is a Emotion or if it is a Decision. The reality of Love in Marriage though is obvious. Love is a Decision. It is another of the valuable paradigms that has been introduced to me through Retrouvaille and one which I am learning to Live.
God has Blessed Humanity with the Gift of Emotions. The problem with viewing Love as an Emotion in our Marriages is that Feelings belong to each individual person. Simply Stated, Our Emotions are our own and our Feelings are our own. Feelings and Emotions are fleeting, volatile and at times uncontrollable. There is nothing wrong with what we Feel. It is vital to our mental well being. As such, this volatility is what causes so much chaos when we allow it to control our Marriage. It is how we act and how we let Emotions affect are decisions that is important.
The Secular Viewpoint is that Love is an Emotion. They claim that it becomes meaningless if it is just a decision. Secularist arguments are that Love is a Decision belongs only in the “institution” of Marriage (Notice the shot at Marriage as an Institution). This viewpoint is extremely destructive to a Marriage and it is one that we hear Over and Over again, Day in and Day out from everywhere. The World we Live in minimizes the often times difficult decision to Love in spite of our feelings.
To Decide to Love in Spite of how we feel requires Sacrifice and Hard Work. It requires Selflessness, Courage and Humility. It requires the Holy Spirit because as Fallen Creatures we are incapable of this on our own.
If you believe Love is only an Emotion, then you’ll be enslaved by Your Anger, Your Pride, Your Jealousy and your Happiness as well as the entire range of Emotions we experience as Humans.
I am not denying the Emotional Aspect to Love. God is Love, therefore it is multifaceted. Infinite. What I am saying is any Emotional component of it cannot be the only part of your Marriage. It simply cannot.
The Very Nature of our Emotions is that they are Self-Serving and Self-Preserving. They serve our Interests and our Needs First, and that in itself is why Love must be a decision. There is no place for only yourself in Marriage.
You can “Feel” You Love your Spouse Today. What happens when you have an Argument ? Do you still “Feel” Love ? If your Spouse Offends You ? Do you still “Feel” Love ? When your Spouse is Selfish, Do you still “Feel” Love ? When your Spouse does not meet your Needs, Do you still “Feel” Love ?
The Most Powerful example of Love being a decision comes from Our Saviour Jesus Christ. He Agonized in the Garden about the Suffering he was about to Endure. Every Emotion he experienced was that he not have to bear his Torture, Cross and Crucifixion.
In Spite of all those Emotions though What did he Do ? Did He decide to forget about the whole ordeal ?
Instead, Jesus Decided to Give Himself Up. To sacrifice Himself for the Good of All Mankind, regardless of our Ignorance, Ingratitude and Unworthiness.
Our Saviour showed us that in spite of what we feel. We must decide to Love in Marriage. Just as Jesus did for his Bride, the Church.
Had he given in to his Emotions and let it decide his Love for Us then he would not have gone through with The Passion.
That is Why Love is a Decision.
Next – How Do I Feel Today ?