Love: An Emotion or A Decision?
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This month of February, the world celebrates 'love' in what they call 'Valentine's Day'. But in this love month, the world has dedicated it to romance and to lovers and has given value to intimacy between a man and a woman, not only to the 'emotional' part but also to the physical part.
What is love? It seems like this word has become too controversial to many people that in my research about this topic, I found sooo many issues that everyone has an opinion on.
'Love', according to my dictionary, is an affection of the mind caused by that which delights, a strong liking, a devoted attachment to one of the opposite sex, fondness, charity. Affection, strong liking, and fondness are all emotions. Therefore, when one is 'in love', one has a powerful emotion that can motivate to make decisions based on that emotion. Our mind, our will, our emotion--these are all parts of our soul which is our personality and character. As we are a three-part being,--spirit, soul and body--our soul is the one that is mostly influenced by the flesh, or by our spirit who we really are. Talking about 'falling in love', first we see (physical), then we hear and know (by fellowship), then we like and desire, and we then love, emotionally. This is the process of emotional love, which brings many to broken marriages, to teen-age pregnancies, to broken hearts. It is not perfect or true.
I do not actually say that we do away with 'love, the emotion'. It is actually the beginning of 'love, the decision', for us who are not perfect. Decision is the one that makes our love true--the decision to commit, to choose to love regardless of the worthiness of the other person. That's what makes our love true. "Perfect love cast out all fears", the Bible says and the only perfect love is that of Jesus'. For the Bible says, "God is love"--Jesus, Himself, is love, who dwells in the inside of us, if you have received Him in your spirit. This is the love that comes from the spirit and influences the soul to love unconditionally, to be patient and kind, generous to people whom we do not know, to bless and pray for those who have wronged us, to care for our children and our families, to share Jesus to those who still do not believe. That is why Paul describes 'love' in 1 Corinthians 13 as " Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails". This is the kind of love that Jesus has for us. And these words tell us the kind of love we need to give to our family, our neighbors, to our brothers and sisters in Christ, to the world, and even to those whom we love, emotionally.
Yes, love truly is an emotion and a decision. But the emotion is empty without the decision.