Read Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
In late January over twenty-six years ago, I had a conversation about future employment with the woman I was dating. Shelaine’s boss had asked about her availability in the fall, and if he needed to hire a replacement. I recall smiling and asking, “Well, if you were married to me by September, would that affect your response to your boss?” I then caught myself and said, “Oh dear, have I just proposed?” She answered quickly, “No, but I like the idea!” So we chose to get engaged on February 14.
Our choosing to get engaged on a certain date—even Valentine’s Day—seems a bit unromantic, because a lot of mythology says I should have surprised her. Choosing the date seems predictable, cranial, boring.
Yet we know the wisdom in the saying “love is a choice, not an emotion.” Not a grudging choice against lukewarm emotions, but the willful intention to show love again and again. Over twenty-five years later, I still choose Shelaine with committed faithfulness, walks around Mill Lake, talks by the fire, working through issues, and planning our future.
In Colossians 3 Paul reminds us that God chose us, and his doing so leads to expectations of compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience with others—that is, God expects us to love others in return. God’s choice to love us increases our capacity to respond similarly with people around us.
God, our culture is saturated with the idea that love flows from warm emotions. Help me understand that choosing to love will allow warm emotions to flow. Thank you for choosing us, even when we are not lovable. Amen.
Show a small act of love toward the one you’re with. See how it makes them feel. See how it makes you feel!