Love Story

I always inwardly squirm when people speak about falling in love because when we fall *in* something, we can fall *out* of it too. And falling out of love — as I am sure you can attest — can have some terrible repercussions, the least of which is heartbreak. 

So, what do we do? Stop falling in love? That is as likely to happen as it is for the sun to stop shining, so that isn't the solution. The solution is to make love more than just a feeling; we need to make it a choice we exercise every day. We have to *choose* to accept, understand, forgive, respect, serve, support, be faithful, and be kind to our partner daily.

When Scripture speaks about love, it doesn't define it as a warm, fuzzy feeling (although, yes, it can be that). It defines love in terms of characteristics. Consider, for instance, what Paul writes: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

These are words quoted at almost every Christian wedding but seem to be as quickly forgotten as the sermon accompanying them. Before they get married, couples act like they can't live without each other. Once they get married, they act like they can't live *with* each other, and these days it isn't uncommon for marriages to break up within months. 

It takes an effort to make relationships work. Sometimes it's easy; sometimes, it isn't. In fact, sometimes, it is incredibly hard. But if we decide to love the person we are with, it is simply a matter of exercising the necessary effort. Getting God into the mix will make it less burdensome and more rewarding. That's through prayer. 

However, very few couples pray together. (Do you?) If we can sit down together for a few minutes each day and thank God for the blessing of each other — and the other blessings we have received — we will find both grace and love flowing into our lives and into our relationships. So, how about we give that a shot? Or do you prefer squabbling and breaking up instead 

May the Spirit be with you.

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