Love is satisfaction. Love is pleasure. Love is good experience. Love is chemistry. Wait… is that right?
Children grow up constantly disobeying their parents. This stresses them out.
In the same way I, as a child of God, disobey my Father, God. This cannot cause him to feel satisfaction, pleasure, give him a good experience, nor does it create good chemistry.
So then, what is love?
The taste of chocolate, the stupor of alcohol, orgasm, and satisfaction in a relationship are all on the same spectrum of neurochemical experience. Culture continually equates love as our dopamine rush similar to these. Many speak of “falling in love,” which is culture’s way of saying “falling into dopamine’s pleasure zone.” This is not love.
Google defines Love as “an intense feeling of affection,” or “a deep feeling of romantic/sexual attachment.” How can that be? How can we act on this feeling of affection and/or attachment yet, still not be satisfied? Acting on this feeling only leaves a restless dissatisfaction. Why do we struggle with love? Why?!
It’s because Love is not a feeling.
- Love is a commitment…
- Love is a commitment to be “With.”
- Love is a commitment to be “For.”
- Love is a commitment to be “Unto.”
1. Love is a commitment…
We see over and over in the Old Testament God chooses to commit himself to certain people. Abraham. Jacob. Joseph. David… He entered into a covenant commitment to His people Israel. Israel continually refuses to obey there side to the commitment. But God has and still does remain faithful to his commitment to us!
Love is hard work. It can change from adorable to annoying just like that. Love is persistent. It holds true to the commitment. Choose your commitments wisely and stay true and faithful to them.
2. Love is a commitment to be “With.”
Presence matters. Presence is the way to show your love, your commitment. Presence allows you to learn each other. Presence allows you to listen to each other. Presence requires you to be with your commitment.
God has not forgotten his people. He stays true to his commitment. He is with those who choose to commit into that covenant. We, unlike God, are not perfect. We flee. We screw up. Love is persistent. Show up even when the other does not. Do what you can to stay true and faithful. Imitate God and how he never abandoned us even when we ran.
Thank God for sending us Immanuel… “God with us.” Just cause Jesus died and is not physically with us anymore. He left with us the Holy Spirit. With the Spirit, we are able to imitate God’s commitment towards us. God was and is present. “I am the I am.” God was then. God is now. He is with us.
3. Love is a commitment to be “For.”
To love someone means you are their advocate. You believe in them more than they believe in themselves. Advocacy implies you are present with them. To be “for” someone, you must be “with” someone. Advocates understand the importance of saturation of presence. Advocacy only exists through presence.
People need to know that someone is routing for them. We need to know someone has our back when all else fails. Why? Because all else does fail… a lot. When God tells us, “I will be their God and they will be my people,” he is saying, “I’ve got your back.” “You can do this because I’m with you.”
Imitate God and be for your commitment by being with your commitment.
4. Love is a commitment to be “Unto.”
Love is about direction. Love gives direction. Love seeks direction. Love listens to direction. “God’s with-ness transcends simple presence and advocacy; his with-ness and for-ness are a transforming power.” -Scot McKnight
Love transforms. Naturally and intentionally. Presence naturally molds and shapes a person. Who we choose to surround ourselves with impacts us. Our advocates earn the right and privilege to speak into our lives. This allows intentional direction. Advice. Encouragement. Correction. Celebration. All of these are intentional and must be discerning. Speaking into someone’s life is critical. It can build them up or destroy them.
Being “Unto” someone is seeking to constantly be building them up. We all have enough people ready to criticize and destroy us at any given moment. Now listen to me… your words may destroy them temporarily. But should build them up eternally!
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
Commitment is saturated in grace and mercy. Love is saturated in grace and mercy. Love like God loves his people. Committed. Graceful. Merciful.