Cupidity - where stupid and love meet. Ever experienced it? Stupid love is as easy to come by as great chocolate or cute shoes. But love doesn't have to be so stupid; there are ways to educate it and give it some wisdom, but it might just make a change in what we think love is.
Have you ever considered why God gave us so many commands to love? If love came naturally to all of us, then God wouldn't have had to spend so much time explaining it (1 Corinthians 16:14). But God sees the need to command us to love, because love isn't usually our first response, except when we are deep in it. In those situations, love is easy and natural - it's like second nature. Love is your "soul" focus: that person gets all the best of you. You are patient, kind, caring, and selfless, and you overlook faults. You are the perfect picture of love in human form.
But what about all those other times when things get rough? When he doesn't call back? When he's thoughtless, argumentative, or condescending? What about those times when he's wrong and you're right? When he's mean and you're nice (or not-so-mean?) What happens to your feelings of love when conflict hits the scene? Cupidity can happen when love doesn't go the way we want it to. When it doesn't feel so good anymore and we want those good feelings back. Love gets stupid when our feelings take a nosedive and resentment, bitterness, loneliness, or anger become stronger emotions than love. When that happens we hit back, we worry, we stress, we shut down, we clam up, or we act out. And love walks out the door.
So what's the key to taking the stupid out of love? It all comes down to knowing that love isn't a feeling, but an action. When we know love isn't just about feelings we can have to make it through the storms. We can love those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us. When we know love isn't just about how we feel, we can love the way God wants us to.
Throughout the Bible God commands us to love. Love God, love our neighbors as ourselves; even love our enemies! If love were a feeling, then God couldn't command it. No one can order you to feel something. Emotions don't work like that - you don't turn them on and off on command. But actions can be commanded: "Don't react to her" or "Don't touch that." (not to be confused with, "You can't touch this").
So if love is an action and not a feeling, what does it look like? Love is an action, not in the sense of "start the film rolling" but in the sense of "it's not what you feel, it's what you do." Suddenly when you look at it like that, love becomes less about how people make you feel or what they do to you, but what you do in response to them.
Wait a minute . . . you mean love isn't about how a person makes me feel but about how I treat them? Yep, that's it in a nutshell. So if love is lacking in your life, it isn't because of the other person; it's because of you. Ouch, that hurts me even as it's coming out. Let's walk through this together - it's too scary alone. According to Scripture, you aren't going to be judged based on the love you 'feel' but the love you 'give.' (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) I can't speak for you, but I can speak for me when I say that most of these things - like patience, humility, not insisting on getting your own way, never giving up, and enduring all things - all these things ain't what I originally had in mind when I thought about what love should feel like in my life.
When you understand the truth about love, when you give it the way God intended, then Cupidity walks out the door and true love takes over. No one can ever get you off track when you know that love, in order to prove itself true, has to be tested. It has to stand in the face of opposition (Matthew 5:44); it has to give of itself even when it is getting nothing in return (Luke 6:35); it has to be a conscious choice and not an emotional response. (Matt 5:44) When you understand the truth about love you are free to love God's way, and that's the only way you can ever truly love.
(Hayley and her husband Michael have written a book on the 50 stupid things that people do for love called Cupidity. By their count they've committed at least 51 of the 50 between them. Listen in on Hayley and Michael's babble at babbleofthesexes.com.)
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . . For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?" - Matthew 5:44,46
"Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8
"If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." - Matthew 5:46-48
"One of the worst things sin did for man was to make him selfish, for selfishness cannot love." - Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender
Hayley DiMarco writes books. Lots of them. Over thirty and counting including seventeen bestsellers, nearly a million books in print, five Christian Book Award finalists including this year's nominee B4UD8 (Before You Date) co-authored with her husband Michael. BTW, one of those finalists won - Sexy Girls. Hayley and Michael live outside Nashville, Tennessee with their out-of-this-world daughter Addison.
Have you done something stupid for love? Share with Haley DiMarco this week at She Seeks.
© 2010 by Hayley DiMarco. All rights reserved.
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