Do you believe that love is a choice?
Annette Yeo // April 8, 2019, 5:53 pm
Someone I trusted a lot broke my heart, and in processing it with God, it became more and more clear to me that love is a choice.
I used to think that defining love as a choice rather than a feeling was unromantic. But as I grew older, I realised that seeing love as a choice is the most humbling revelation to have.
Choosing to walk away from a fight when you’ve been hurt takes more courage and humility than it does to lash out and fight for what may seem to be your right.
Choosing to speak the truth in love takes more patience, transparency and vulnerability than it does to stay silent or dropping hints in hopes that the other party will realise what was wrong on their own.
Sometimes it’s even as simple as choosing to sit down after a long, bad day at work, to talk and hear a loved one out instead of going to straight to bed.
Love as a choice takes more sacrifice, more effort, and more intention than it ever does for us to be led around by the butterflies in our stomachs or the spark we feel when our eyes meet.
When I was in secondary school, someone told me, “We never marry the ones we fall in love with. We exchange wild, crazy, passionate love for peace in our hearts.”
It shaped my view of love from then, and a younger me felt that this was such a pity. That marriage was like a chain that bound you, and that love wasn’t just as I understood it to be.
But then I realised it was a good thing that I’d got it wrong.
I was walking up the overhead bridge on my way home one day when I saw an old lady slowly and painstakingly going up the steps. As I approached her to help, she smiled and assured me she did not need any assistance. That’s when a voice rang out from the flight of steps above us – it was her husband, telling me that she’d be okay, that she’d had a stroke and needed to regain use of her limbs.
I stayed and chatted with the couple for a while, and was so moved by their faithfulness to each other, in sickness and in health. Meeting them gave me such a real perspective on love and commitment. Love is a choice.
I feel that too often, people “prettify” love. Perhaps it’s just me, or too many Korean dramas, but I always thought romantic love had to look a certain way, or had to meet a certain criteria to even be considered love. That, or the other end of the spectrum where a more “realistic love” means a trail of broken hearts, rebounds and a no-strings-attached philosophy.
Either one falls so vastly short of what the purest love is.
Why would Jesus die on the Cross if it would cost Him so much pain and ultimately His life? Why would He go through all that even for those who would reject Him? It can only be love; because He chose to. He chose us.
This is why we can love our enemies and pray for those who hurt us. Because forgiveness is a choice. Because love is a choice.
Over the past few years, I feel like God has been teaching me how flawed my idea of love was. Of course, love is patient, love is kind, love is gentle, and sacrificial, and everything in 1 Corinthians 13. But sometimes love is also watching someone struggle and refraining yourself from helping, because you know that might be more helpful.
Love is going for late night walks when you both have rheumatism. And sometimes love is grey and old, hobbling across the overhead bridge together.
This was originally posted on Annette’s blog and republished with permission.
THINK + TALK
- How do you define true love?
- How has your perspective on love changed over the years, and why?
- Recall a moment where you experienced great love.
- How do you intentionally love others?