Love is not a whim. Love is not a flower that fades with a few fleeting years. Love is a choice wedded to action … I chose you, and I will choose you every day for the rest of my life. — “Karris” in The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks
Many marriages are in trouble because one spouse or both are trying desperately to re-create the feelings of springtime love. Springtime love makes you feel young again. It’s the star of movies and romance novels alike.
And it’s totally unsustainable beyond spring.
See, springtime feelings of love are caused by adrenaline (and plenty of other hormones) as we experience something for the first time. These experiences, by definition, can only be experienced one time. The second time isn’t quite so exciting. The third time? We’re like, “Yay. Whoopee.” And by the fourth time, it’s like, “Babe, can we do something different?”
Yet some couples mistakenly believe springtime feelings are meant to last. As a result, when one spouse no longer produces butterfly feelings and whimsy, the other spouse either leaves or checks out emotionally.
Here’s some truth: Springtime feelings are fleeting. And if your marriage is based upon fleetings, guess what will happen to your marriage? It will fleet.
So what can you do to keep from getting suckered into Hollywood’s portrayal of love as sentiment? You can learn the biblical definition of love. Biblical love is so much more than feelings and fleetings.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
If we break down this verse, we’ll soon see that love isn’t a feeling but a demonstration.
Biblical love is a demonstration. If you are still unconvinced, I have one more place we can look:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Father, reveal to me my own misunderstandings about love. If I have been living love as a feeling and not a demonstration, I ask that You correct my course. Lead me away from fleeting feelings and into deep demonstrations of biblical love. I know I can’t love like that on my own. You must love through me. Like a child learning to walk, I pray Your Spirit will show me the steps to sacrificial acts of love. Then I will place full dependence on You to do it. Amen.