I have always believed that love is a verb. If you have ever been married, you will find this to be true. As awesome as my husband is, I do not wake up every day full of warm fuzzies and wearing rose-colored glasses. Some days, when he makes me really mad (or I am just in a foul mood), I find that loving him is a choice, one that requires action. Much like faith, love is not really love until you do something with it.
I do believe that love is a verb, but it is also a command. Jesus did not mince words when the Sadducees asked Him what the greatest commandment was. He told them, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Everything hangs on these two commandments. Wow.
I have been challenged by love lately. I love my children – they really do rock. And my husband? I love the tar out of him (and not just because he is so good lookin’)! I love my extended family, even the goofy ones, and I have some awesome friends. I love those battle buddies God has placed in my life along the way. I even love strangers. I enjoy doing unexpected things sometimes like helping them with their groceries or sending them packages in third world countries. I love them all.
Love becomes a challenge for me, though, when God places people in my life that I just don’t click with. Do you have them? For whatever reason, we just don’t seem to jive, but God has placed them in my circle. I run into them in the neighborhood or sit by them in Sunday School. When they come for dinner, I start to stress. When I see their name on the caller ID, I hesitate to answer. They become a part of my life not by choice, but by godly design.
This crossing of paths in not by accident. God has placed these people along the way to teach me to love for no other reason than that He commanded me to do so. It takes work and prayer for me to get through such things, which is exactly why He does it. He wants me to be more like Him, obviously I need some work in this area.
I have found, though, that as I love these people (because love is a verb, remember) I truly come to love them from my heart. My actions change my soul. How God does that I have no idea, but He does. I just know that those people become more precious to me because I am doing what I was told to do. Don’t get me wrong, my heart takes a while to change sometimes, but what a blessing it becomes to me.
I am still challenged, and still praying. Loving is difficult, but worth it – a lesson I have to learn over and over. Do you find it difficult to love some people? I would love to hear how God walks you through it!