I’ll start by saying this: I love my wife.
Honestly, she is very easy to love. I love spending time with her, laughing with her, and making her smile. I love holding her hand, walking beside her, and yes – kissing her. I love her! But how do I know that I love her and am not just infatuated with her? One, because I feel incomplete when we are apart. Also, because in the hard times, sad times, and even when we disagree – I still want to be with her. It’s not just about the laughing, kissing, and holding hands. It’s about our commitment to each other no matter how we feel at the moment.
Commitment – the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
Commitment will cause us to do things that we would not otherwise do. Its the glue that holds us in a relationship when everything in us wants to pack our bags and leave. Its what keeps us going back to the office each day, even when we would rather…. not. Its what makes us keep teaching our children good values even when it seems like the world is screaming the exact opposite. Its what causes us to keep serving God, even when we feel like we can’t go another step.
Serving God and making the right decision is not always easy, is it? Its not that we are unsure what to do, its more putting what we know into practice that gets us. Paul said it well in Romans…
“What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.” (Romans 7:15 MSG)
He knew what was right but he struggled to put it into action. I find myself in the same predicament and I’m sure many of you share my and Paul’s frustration. So, what is the answer?
Commitment. Just like with marriage, commitment to Christ will cause you to keep going even when it seems impossible. When you think you’ve fell one too many times, you remind yourself of His love for you, and you keep going. When you don’t understand why God has allowed something to happen in your life, commitment causes you to trust that He has your best interest in mind. You know He will be with you through the trial, even if you have to endure it. When you disagree with an answer that God has given you, you don’t walk away from the relationship. You stay put and know that His heart is pure and His intentions toward you are always for your good, not to destroy you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
In our Christian walk we will experience awesome times of joy and laughter, feel intimate encounters during worship, and sometimes even feel like Jesus is walking right beside us. But there will also be times when we don’t feel those things, and in those times we’ll need something more than infatuation or just “really liking” God. We’ll need commitment.
Love is much more than just an emotion.
Photo by Mr. Topher in Creative Commons, Flicker.com