Love is a verb. Hmm, I keep seeing that phrase. I think it's cool how God obviously shows you something to invite you to explore it deeper.
I look at the definition of love (on, none other, my computer dictionary) and it does not describe the kind of love I believe God intended for marriage. (It’s a WORLD dictionary.)
1. Feel tender affection for somebody: to feel tender affection for somebody such as a close relative or friend, or for something such as a place, an ideal, or an animal
2. Feel desire for somebody: to feel romantic and sexual desire and longing for somebody
3. Like something very much: to like something, or like doing, something very much
Feel and like are not tangible action verbs. We don’t usually have control over how we feel or what we like or dislike; we can’t consciously make ourselves feel or like. We can make ourselves show love though. It may not be genuine at first, but in time, you can build your love by acting on it.
I had to read to the fourth definition to get on the right track.
4. Show kindness to somebody: to feel and show kindness and charity to somebody, love your enemies
How do we love our enemies? We act in love, treating them kindly when we feel like we want to unleash our anger on them. It sometimes seems easier to love your enemies than your own spouse or family.
We are initially attracted to our future spouse with feelings of love. That love will not sustain a healthy marriage relationship though. Sadly, this world tells us love is a feeling, it should be received. When you no longer “feel” it or “receive” it (to your personal standards), our society will tell you it may be time to move on to another relationship.
We aren’t taught a lot about giving love. As selfish creatures, we expect to receive love. When things aren’t going well and we don’t like our mate, we’re ready to throw in the towel. This is the time to remember that love is a verb. You have to act on it.
The best description of love comes in the “Love Chapter” of the Bible, I Corinthians 13. Just a few examples of this wonderful chapter explain how love operates. (Please read the rest of it at your leisure.) "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast." These are all verbs we act on, not just feel.
Oh, how impatient I can get with my husband and how unkind I can be. Although we may feel impatient, unkind, or unloving, we need to stop acting on those feelings. We need to stop allowing our feelings to dictate our actions and our words.
We need to act, always, on the side of love. Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do, or what would He say if He was standing in this room listening to the careless words I spew?”
*More to come on “Love is a verb.”