Love is a choice so love your choice. Love yourself before you can love anyone else?
What credit is it to love another person when the love reciprocates? That’s the easy part, especially when it’s a romantic love.
But what about the command to love your neighbor and as you love yourself? What if the neighbor is a family member who has become unlovable?
What if you just don’t like someone?
Last month I stepped back to yesterdays by viewing old photos and films about our life. It was our 40th wedding anniversary. How we met and fell in love was a reminder of the love and friendship. And knowing how much more that love is today. Deeper….more mature. We made a commitment to love each other through the bad and the good, through richer or poorer. This love is eternal if we nurture God’s unconditional love. It’s a threesome…husband, wife and God!
“Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
In all relationships there are ups and downs, but relationships stay strong when two people work at it. Here’s a simple example of a marriage relationship that keeps strong when respect is the foundation.
“If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting ‘Rise and shine!’ It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.” Proverbs 27:14 (MSG)
Don’t do this.
This is literally how my husband loves me. He lets me sleep in as long as I want. He is not frazzled. He slips out of bed quietly while I sleep, and makes his own coffee. That is the routine we’ve established for decades as friends in our marriage relationship.
In the same way, I am cautious about making phone calls to my son when I know he is sleeping. Besides, I don’t want to get his wrath on me if I wake him up. Other times, I’m cursed if I do and cursed if I don’t?
Which is a better choice?
The love way is not always easy, but it’s God’s way. As parents we should love our children no matter what, even when they are grown and have chosen a life that we may not like. Recently I watched Dr. Phil and there was a woman who would not accept her son’s choice of fiancée. She refused to change her thinking about the woman, and blamed her for many things. She also could not get along with her son’s ex so she could not see her grandchildren. How sad is that!
Then there’s the love towards the unfortunate and unlovable. Some people have empathy, but others don’t. Sometimes it takes experiences beyond our control to bring us to acceptance of people different from us. We don’t have to like their behavior but we are commanded to love our neighbor.
Love is a choice. Love your choice.
What experiences have you had?