This post is a consolidation of a discussion I had with a friend on Facebook, after I shared this tweet on my timeline today:
“Love is an #emotion before it is a #decision. #ItsnotThatComplicated…”
The tweet was inspired by a discussion I had with two of my friends on Sunday, when we were discussing dating and marriage. One of them said, “Love is a decision, not an emotion,” and I immediately responded with “Love is an emotion, before it is a decision.” She loved it and wanted to keep it for referencing. So, today, I decided to tweet it!
With the push for people to ACT in love, anyone talking about emotional love is viewed with suspicion these days. Emotional love sounds too carnal. Too selfish. Because emotional love has been used to justify all sorts of things that are not love! So I was definitely expecting some disagreement on this. However, as usual, the questioning allowed me go deeper and also get a better understanding myself.
The question was asked: “Love is the greatest force ever put in the hands of mankind. But is it an emotion?”
So, my response was:
Yes. It starts from the heart. It’s passion controlled by wisdom. I believe even God’s passion for us originated from His heart, before it became His will…
Again, my friend asked: “Yes my dear, anything without emotion is dead. But is love emotion?”
Love is first and foremost an emotion. Like you said, anything without emotion is dead. Love is not only emotion, but emotion is the basest quality. Without emotion, it is merely a dutiful service and not a loving relationship. God’s love and passion for us DROVE Him to act…drove Him to the Cross. Without the selfless service, love cannot be proven to be true.
Love is not emotion alone, but emotion is very much part of love. If we love God, we will desire to please Him, we will actually feel EMOTIONAL about Him, so much that the idea of disobeying Him would hurt and offend us… Obedience to God is the testing that our LOVE is true. It doesn’t mean that we can obey His rules, while our hearts are far from Him.
Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees, how they honour Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him… Like the rich man who came to Jesus boasting of how obedient he had been to the Law, God wants OUR HEARTS. That’s the most valuable thing we can give Him, and it is EMOTIONAL. Emotions drive men more than their will…that’s why the Bible says guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23).
Love isn’t just any emotion. There are many emotions. Love is the most powerful, and most beautiful of them all…
John 3:16 – God so LOVED the world that He GAVE…
Before God gave Jesus, as a proof of His passionate love, it is written that He loved the world… The action was the evidence and expression of what was in His heart. We shouldn’t over spiritualise love…that is why some people will enter a marriage, when they have no passion for their spouse, and wonder why they are STRUGGLING to act in love. Passion isn’t every thing, but it must have its place.
Imagine carrying a CROSS without passion??? That’s just suffering! There is no joy in it…
My friend shared a timely scripture in agreement: “Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God“
People struggle to act in love, because love is not in their hearts! They don’t FEEL it. Likewise, people do not obey Jesus for the simple fact they do not truly love Him. We did not love Him either, until we learnt of His love for us. 1 John 4:10 – “This is love. Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and gave Himself for us“. We are able to respond in love, when we understand how much we are loved! The salvation God prepared in Christ is the greatest romance. It moves us with genuine passion into sincere submission!
So, there it is, people. Love is an emotion. A STRONG and MOST POWERFUL emotion. A REAL EMOTION that produces a RIGHT ACTION. It is proven in Wisdom, because true love is ALWAYS wise. However, I think the most accurate definition is that, more than an emotion, “Love is a Spirit, a passionate driving force for good“! Jesus Christ is the ultimate manifestation of this Spirit.
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