Love is [NOT] a choice

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“Love is a choice.” This message is preached throughout both the secular and Christian circles, consistently and constantly. It’s promoted as a good thing. Something that shows commitment. Dedication. Value. And I think what we are really wanting is for people to choose to stay committed to what they already made a choice on. It’s an easy line to go to when someone is trying to rationalize lost feelings, the desire to cheat, the desire to leave, the emptiness they may feel inside. While these may be good intentions, focused on making the best of decisions made prior, let’s get the terminology right:

Actions are a choice, but love is not

There will be times when you are annoyed or frustrated and you choose to act lovingly and nice. Other times, you may choose to act hateful or angry. These are the choices we are making. But who we are to the core has already been determined by the choices we made about the type of person we want to be. For Christians, it’s becoming born again and having God’s love fill us. For non-Christians, it’s having whatever god you choose to worship, to lead you. And sometimes that means we are our own gods. But these are the choices we make that impact the love we have to give. Whether it’s real love, self-love, true love, selfish love, or selfless love.

When we experience Christ’s love, His love becomes our default. It can’t go away. It’s not something you turn off or on. It’s who you are because it’s who He is and He is now inside you. This love can be scary, cause pain or hurt, but it’s never a constant choice or burden. While the repercussions of loving may be hard to deal with, love in and of itself is easy. You can’t help but to love, it’s who you are naturally now. Something just changes. It did for me, at least.

True love results in commitment, but commitment doesn’t always equate to true love

I think it’s easy to almost interchange these words. “Marry the one who stays” was a recent blog post I read. Again, I see the intent but something else is missing. Love is more than a commitment, more than a choice. It’s not the will and decisions that are our moral compass, it is our heart- and in turn, it’s our heart that results in actions. Not the other way around. Love is so much more than an act, a commitment, or a choice. It involves these motives deep down. And if we get honest with ourselves, we can see there are a lot of good acts out there rooted in selfish motives. That’s not what I’m looking for.

I’m not looking for a commitment. Commitment may keep a body there but it won’t fill my soul. When I’m weak and need someone strong that’ll have my best interest at the forefront of his mind, a commitment won’t give me peace. I don’t often hear what I desire preached. Not because it’s impossible, I just think it’s rare.

I hear this all the time-
“How did you know he or she was the one?”
“I decided.”
No, I’m not buying it. Because then you can decide they aren’t- or maybe you will decide they are for the rest of your lives. I don’t know. I just believe there is a stronger force there that supersedes our will and decision making abilities. I desire something so much more than a decision. I need something deeper, stronger, something greater than this world has to offer. I don’t want my future husband to choose to love me. Because I don’t think that is true love. I want him to simply love me because he can’t not love me.

My hope is that you’ll search your heart. You’ll seek love, true love with pure motives, from the source that is love. So you can see for yourself how love is so much more beautiful than a choice.

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6 reasons why watching ‘The Best of Me’ is the worst thing for you

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So this past weekend I went to see The Best of Me in theaters, opening night. I have always loved Nicholas Sparks’ movies and look forward to the new ones when they come out. However, I think there is a combination between movie morals declining and my spiritual maturity rising happening today. I felt like this movie was a cheapened version of The Notebook. There were so many similarities I noticed, yet different circumstances. Do not continue reading if you plan to watch the film and don’t want any spoilers. Read afterwards:)

For those who don’t plan to see it or want a brief overview before I get into my reasons, the following will be a quick summary. Dawson, the main male character, grew up in a rough environment where his dad beat him. He meets Amanda while in high school. Amanda is a pretty, popular, rich girl who becomes interested in Dawson. Of course, Dawson does not think he is good enough for her. Dawson ends up leaving his dad’s house, while an older gentleman (widow) named Tuck takes him and treats him like his own son. Through a series of events, Dawson and Amanda end up dating. On the day of prom, Dawson’s dad goes to Tuck’s house and beats him up. When Dawson realizes this, he goes over to his dad’s with a shotgun in order to scare his dad; Dawson was clearly upset by what his dad did to Tuck. During this time, Dawson’s best friend, Bobby, ends up getting shot on accident and dying. Dawson is sentenced to jail for 8 years and would not let Amanda see him because he did not want to interfere with her plans she had. She tried for a year to see him before giving up. She ended up going off to college, getting pregnant, marrying the father and staying married for 20 years to him. Tuck’s death is what brings Dawson and Amanda together and their love is rekindled, 20 or 21 years later- Dawson says 21 years, Amanda says 20 so who knows who is right lol. That’s not the whole story but it will suffice. Most love stories go the same and ignite something in us, at least with us girls- desires to be loved, adored, wanted, and needed. I do think love like this exists, it just fails to show all of the hurt and heartbreak that goes along with it when bad choices are made. Well some of the heartbreak is shown.

  1. Sex outside of marriage- pt. 1: Amanda and Dawson chose to have sex outside of marriage while they were dating in high school. Sex is such a beautiful gift and while they deeply cared for each other, they should have waited until they were married. God tells us to wait for marriage for a reason; He is not trying to withhold something great from us but wanting us to hold out for something better- more intimate, more sacred, more fulfilling. Guard your heart- and your body- save it for your spouse. Your spouse deserves all of you and will appreciate it. Are they worth it? Do you trust God?
  2. Sex outside of marriage- pt. 2: Amanda and her current husband in the story end up having sex while in college, she gets pregnant, and then they get married. Once you have sex, it’s hard to stop for multiple reasons. It’s clear Amanda continued and ended up getting pregnant and married to a guy she didn’t really love. She probably made the best choice she could given her situation. But her situation wasn’t ideal. Don’t settle. She was left in an empty loveless marriage which pushed her closer to what happened later when she saw Dawson again.
  3. Sex outside of marriage- pt 3: When Amanda and Dawson reconnected after 20 years, they end up having sex again. Amanda is still married to her current husband. Yet, because we know she isn’t happy in her marriage and we know how much Dawson loves her, we are happy she is having an affair! Do you all see how damaging this is to our minds?! To our souls?! It’s heartbreaking. She missed her chance at true love 20 years ago because she ended up doing things she shouldn’t have. She settled. It’s not to judge her but there are consequences when we try to do things on our own and disobey God. God’s plans for us are so much greater and sometimes we end up having to learn this the hard way.
  4. Anger/killing- When Dawson saw how hurt Tuck was, he was full of anger. He grabs a shotgun and heads over to his dad’s house. Now there is such thing as righteous anger and it would worry me if it didn’t bother him. But we must always keep that anger in check. Who is in control? Because at that time, Dawson wasn’t and unfortunately he ended up having to deal with killing his best friend accidentally. Simply because he couldn’t control his emotions.
  5. Divorce- After having an affair with Dawson, Amanda remembers how much she loves him. She admits how miserable she is in her marriage. We are proud of her when she finally has the courage to get a divorce. Divorce is not good but there are mixed emotions here. She would have never been in this situation had she not engaged in activities she shouldn’t have. Again, life happens and we are not perfect but I just want to encourage people to make the right choices now- to save you from all of this heartbreak that happens in the world today. Potentially a lifetime of pain.
  6. Marriage lasts beyond this lifetime- When Amanda asks how long Tuck and his wife were married before she passed away, Tuck responded with “We are still married, just on different schedules.” You could not help but aww and cry over this. I do hope one day I find a man that loves me as much as that. However, we can’t let that thought control us. It is possible to have that kind of love but we will not be married in heaven. There is no danger in having that deep of love, but the danger comes when we seek that above Christ.

I am one of the hugest fans of chick flicks. However, we need to be able to discern fantasy from reality and not mix the two. We are constantly being programmed so it’s imperative that we stick to our morals and values and not fall into the trap of compromising because it seemed so right in the movies. Sounds silly when I write it but I have seen it happen over and over again. The truth is, God already started your love story when He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for you. I pray you feel that love stronger than you ever have before and it gives you the strength you need to walk away from the world’s idea of a love story, and follow His.

-the virgin heartbreaker

photo credit: ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser via photopin cc