My wife made a statement to me years
ago that set me back about a mindset and a half. She said that love is a
decision we make. Not a brash statement by any sense of the word, but a
statement that makes you re-think just about every thing you ever thought
about the word. Deep down I knew that statement to be true, but I had
never made a clear distinction of the word decision. How many times have
we used that word and claimed that word and promised that word to others
without even thinking that it was a decision you had made within you. Love
is a decision but many take it as just a puddle to step into.
I am sure we all remember our first love and thought we would die if we
did not win that person to us. We had tried everything from gifts to
trickery to win the person of our affection over. We suffered both
publicly and privately when things didnít work out and we did not win the
love of the one we chased. Unfortunately, a lot of times, the one we had
chosen had made the decision not to love us.
We fall in love many times in our life with many different people and for
different kinds of love. Oh, most of us donít go around flittering like a
bee from flower to flower, but most of us make that decision many times
with different kinds of people.
We usually start out at a very young age with a love for our parents. We
choose to love them because they show us first they love us. They feed and
clothe and give us a warm bed at night and give us affection and even
extra affection when we are hurt, scared or we do something what pleases
them. We make the decision early in life to love our siblings and other
close relatives. This doesnít mean we donít have sibling rivalry, jealousy
or envy within our lifetime, but we usually work through those little
testy times and the older we get the stronger we stand by our decision to
love. This type of love last a lifetime because it is so natural and given
so freely by both sides.
We donít know at what point in our life when we venture out of the warmth
and protected love of family and try to love others and try to get them to
love us back. That takes more work and more time and the results just like
trying to learn to walk or ride a bike has a lot of failures. We think
that if they just got to know us a little better or could see inside of us
they would be more than glad to choose to love us and would be grateful
for it. However, life has a way of throwing us twist and turns that cause
the best of intentions to go wrong.
We work and fail at love until hopefully that one comes along who returns
our advances and makes that choice to love us with the same energy and
fervor that we extend outward to become what we call true love. A love
that stands against all the adversity that life and the world can throw at
We soon start having off springs and we make the decision to love our
children as we were loved as children. We try to instill in them the love
we have for them. It comes with all the heart and soul we can put into it,
so they will in turn pass the love down to the next generation. We usually
find the love we have and extend to our grandchildren is even more intense
and sweet than that of our children. It is why you hear people say "that
is why they are called grand-children".
We reach out and extend love to our neighbors, friends, and co-workers.
This decision is usually made with some calculations and reservation. We
love them to the extent we feel we can trust them. It is a shallow love
and one that can usually be recalled or dropped at any given time.
At some point in our life we reach out for God. We, as we do with all
others, have to make the choice if we want to love Him or not. Worship him
or not. Follow him or not. He has already made the decision to love us.
But God is the ultimate gentleman and he will not push His love or ask us
to return His love, unless we make the decision to do so. He will, as all
true lovers. return our love with all of his resources, but if we study
Him and the way He works, we find that it is not automatic. We must reach
out and make that choice to love. Once we do He is more than happy to
return it. Because He is love and all giving, He will be more than happy
to love us just as our parents loved us, but even more so.
The ultimate love I think we choose is the love we have for our enemies.
If we can make that choice and stand by it then we have found the love of
the world. It is extremely hard to make this last choice, because of the
hurt and unkindness our enemies have brought on us, but it is worth the
choice if we can make it.
We make the decision to love many ways and many times in our life. The
older you get the better that choice sets in your ways, the more peace you
find within yourself. At this time of year when we make the decisions of
what gift shows the way you truly feel about your loved one, donít forget
the biggest gift of all. The decision that you made to love that person,
no matter the times or place or circumstance life has thrust you into.