My prayer this past month has been centered on love.  So this blog post is all about love. I do not plan to hit on the super romantic, mushy stuff that we think love is though; I want to talk about how love is tough. Love is not always easy, and if it is then maybe it’s not truly love.

Love is a choice, not a feeling first and foremost.  I heard recently at a conference that Jesus, who is the best example of love, CHOSE to be on the cross.  I may be crazy by saying this but I don’t think Jesus FELT like getting up on that cross just for fun. He chose to be on the cross for us. True love.

I am nowhere close to being an expert on love, but I have experienced love in so many ways, specifically coming from my family as well as from my girlfriend.  I remember the first disagreement my girlfriend and I had as a couple, and it was tough.  I cannot remember what it was about, but I know right then it was difficult.  After this disagreement, we had two choices: we could build on it and get better from it, OR we could quit trying.  Obviously, we chose the first and continue to grow in showing love to each other, as well as to God.

Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.

It says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that love is patient.  The best things are worth waiting for, and love is the best gift a human can receive.  Love is kind. It does not constantly show that you are always right (you are never always right).  It means humbling yourself and admitting you are not perfect and that you are wrong.  The toughest thing for me in my relationships is putting my pride away and telling people the 3 most dreaded words one can say: “I was wrong.”  Love is not rude and does not seek its own interests.  You cannot constantly put the one you love down with sarcastic comments, negative humor, or just pointing out their faults all the time. I feel that society nowadays says that love DOES seek its own interests, but in reality it doesn’t.  It means going to that same restaurant every date, or giving up another game of Madden or Call of Duty just to be with the one you love.

Lastly, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.  Love conquers all. Jesus’ love for us on the cross conquered sin and death.  Love is simply putting others first in all things.  For some of us, that might mean giving up your sleep when the one you love is hurting, or giving up your jacket when they are cold.  It’s the little things that make the most difference.  If everyone did one simple act of love for one person every day, the world would become a much more loving place.  As the great Mother Teresa said. “Love to be real, it must cost–it must hurt–it must empty us of self.”