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Real love causes us to act

Real love takes time to build up. We have to choose to actively spend time getting to know the other person.

We always have a choice whether to allow other people to come into our lives, or to shut them out.  However, only the first option creates closeness and makes love grow.

You’ve probably heard the sentence ‘I love chocolate!’ before.

You may have said it yourself, I have said similar things too. (For those who are wondering, I love popcorn.)

Some time ago it wasn’t the done thing to use the word love so loosely. It was kept for something true and something deep, it was a condition you couldn’t easily change. You loved the people who you had ties to, the people you chose to be totally committed to.

‘Love’ wasn’t usually just about a good feeling, or something you really wanted. 

Perhaps we’ve lost something in our definition of love since then?

Real love takes time.

I remember clearly at junior high school, when my friend came and told me that the guy she’d been dating for a week had told her that he loved her. She freaked out! (It’s easy to laugh about it now, but I felt sorry for the poor girl, what was that guy thinking about?)

Even though she was captivated by him, and it was exciting to be in a relationship, there was something in her that realised that it was impossible for the guy to love her after just a week. She didn’t know him well at all.

There’s a difference between feelings, interest, infatuation and true love. True love matures in us over time. It needs trust, deep knowledge and understanding of the other person, and mutual commitment in order to grow.

In Song of Songs 2:7 we read, ‘do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.’

It causes us to act.

True love leads to actions. One person can ‘love’ (read, ‘be interested in’) someone else for years, but it has no real meaning for the other person if the ‘love’ isn’t shown practically.

Passive love is a dead kind of love. That also relates to our relationship with God.

Jesus says ‘If you love me, keep My commands’ (John 14:15).

A natural result of loving God, is to keep His commands and to do His will. You want to bring joy to the person you love, and to share your life with them.

On the other hand, if you just try to keep His commands without having a real love relationship to Him, you end up being legalistic. It’s almost as if you said to your spouse, ‘I’ll do all the housework, drive the kids to the nursery, and have dinner ready for when you come home, but I refuse to let you into my heart.’ That’s not love, and it would be a grave misunderstanding of the relationship you’re in.

Actively allow them to come in.

It takes time to build true love. For this we need to spend time actively with the other person, get to know how they think and feel, and what’s important for them. We need to feel closeness and trust. Our relationship with God grows when we explore who He is in the Bible, and when we spend time with Him in prayer and worship. Then we feel a closeness and a trust that causes love to grow even deeper.

If you haven’t experienced this yet, or if you haven’t experienced it for a while, then perhaps it’s time to open your heart to God and invite Him in again.

We always have a choice whether to allow other people to come in, or to shut them out. But only the first option creates closeness and makes love grow. I hope you will choose to love God and other people actively, both today and in the future.

 

Text: Hæge A. Aasmundtveit. Published with permission from iTro.no