BY LIN JOHNSON
When a man loves a woman………. The tag line, that even without completion, makes women melt.
What did you feel reading those words? What did you think of; the hope of abiding love, the thought of consuming love, the memory of love lost? The word LOVE, by itself, evokes mental, emotional and even a spiritual shift. It will soothe the soul when it’s right and anger the spirit when it’s wrong.
1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as The Love Chapter, and it gives us a glimpse of what intentional love is from God’s perspective. Verse 2 and 3 says, “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing”. Intentional love will figure out what will please Christ in each situation then does that very thing.
The love of Christ for us in His dying was as conscious as His suffering was intentional. “By this we know love that He laid down His life for us”(1 John 1:16). If He was intentional about laying down His life, it was for us. It was love. “When Jesus knew that His Hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (John 13:1).
There are some kinds of love that are easy. The feeling based love. The fuzzy kind of love. The overflowing, joy-filled, crazy kind of love, but that’s temporal. Then there’s the love that Jesus talks about in the Bible. The challenge is to love others as God wants us to love. The kind of love that’s a choice. The kind of love that takes effort and commitment. Eternal love. Intentional Love.
Have you made love a choice? If love is as love does, have you taken inventory of what you’re doing? Is it intentional?
The way we can begin being intentional about our relationships, is to first be intentional about ourselves. Relationships, of all kinds, are hard work, to say the least. In order to interact with, spend time with, be around someone on a consistent basis is a choice. It is not a choice that should be taken lightly but should be done with purpose. Acknowledging ourselves and sitting in who we are, is a purposeful act. Before we can have a successful relationship with anyone, we must learn how to be in relationship with who we are, with who we are becoming and most importantly, with who and how God sees us.
There was a time in my life that I was in a very bad relationship and I thought, I can’t get any better than this. I thought I was all that I would ever be, I thought that my life was all it would ever be. Then, one day I met a man. This man told me that he would be all that I needed. He did the right things, spoke the right words. This is impossible, I thought. This just can not be real. Of course, because of the lack in my ability to give or receive the right love, I didn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing was possible. But after a lot of stormy times, emotion breaks and a roller coaster of attempts to get it right, I finally stood flat footed and looked into the face of the one that was lying to me about who I was and the love I deserved.
1 John 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
After looking in the mirror one day, I decided to leave fear behind and to stop punishing myself. I made the choice to break up with my old thoughts, my old habits and my old mindset. I broke up with me! And I decided to take this man up on his offer of unconditional love. God’s intentional love and sacrifice for me, has taught me how to love myself with the same intention. Once I began to heal the relationship I had with myself, I learned to love others better and love as God does.
Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know the thoughts he has towards you?
Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. God chose you! So say to yourself today, “I accept the love God has for me. I accept the love he wants to give me. I accept what God says about me”.
When a man loves a woman, he inspires her to be twice the woman she was before…… It’s an intentional thing.