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What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it, got to do with it?  What’s love but a second-hand emotion?  Are you humming the song yet, released in 1984?

This morning as I stumbled to turn on the gas logs in my sleepy stupor before coffee, I noticed a lovely wrapped box on the kitchen table.  And my first thought was “Oh, I forgot!”  Today is our anniversary.

Sweet William had remembered and somehow found a way to surprise me with a small  package, and we women know good things come in small packages.

After I opened the gift, I hugged him and cupped his face, “I always loved you, even when things were not good. Even in separation.  I still loved you.”  He responded back with the same.

That kind of love goes beyond a “second-hand emotion.”  Because love is not an emotion but a decision, a choice we must make.  Every married couple knows it.  Every parent knows it.

And this segues perfectly into the reason I sort of forgot my anniversary.  Or at least it was not in the forefront of my mind.

Last night we opened our home to two handfuls of beautiful women who came to do Bible study.  The small books of 1, 2, 3 John will be our focus over the next several weeks.  And John talks about love and the actions that should prove it – obedience to God’s Word.

what-love-is

Kelly Minter has written What Love Is and slowly dissects the books verse by verse by verse.

I love doing Bible study.  It’s a lifeline to my Heavenly Father, His very words to my heart, my situation, and my world no matter how any or all of them fluctuate.  I can study alone, and I do regularly.  But studying in a group always challenges me to think harder.  Iron sharpens iron.

So I welcome the opportunity to welcome these women into our home, to gather at the table of the Lord and feast on His truth.  John, the beloved author of those three little books (plus the gospel of John) has some powerful words to say to us.  Some of it is so familiar to me, learned as a child.  Yet throughout John draws a line in the sand, a line between light and darkness.  He calls it like it is even when it isn’t popular.  Even when it goes against the grain.  Even when it hurts.

Seeing myself in the Light of who Jesus is and who He called me to be can be painful.

As I reminisce the many years Sweet William and I have been together, I understand the vows made at the altar long ago.  They were hard vows.  They were meant to be taken seriously.  They were not to be entered into lightly.  Because who could know what would come our way.  Who could know how we would come back again and again to the vows when the feelings were different, when the emotions were not high, warm, or fuzzy.  Who could know but the One who loved first.

Love today for the two of us is deeper, more committed than it was 43 years ago.  It is not swayed by the changing tides of our feelings.  It is long lasting because we have endured together, rejoiced together, cried together, suffered together, prayed together, lived life together with all of it’s joys and heartaches.

We are in it for the long haul.  Because that is what real love is.  And so John the beloved disciple tells us.  We can only love because we were first loved.

And love is from God.