How Do I Know if I’m in Love?

“Love is a feeling you feel when you feel you’re feeling a feeling you never felt before.”
Sounds profound, doesn’t it? I quoted it for years until I thought about the first time I received an electric shock. That was a feeling I’d never felt before, but I’ll guarantee you it wasn’t love!

The problem with the word love is that we use it to apply to so many emotions or situations that we sometimes don’t know what it means. So what is it? What is this thing called love?

Dr. Robert Sternberg at Yale University probably defines it best. He says that love consists of three components: 1) decision/commitment; 2) intimacy; and 3) passion. When all three strongly exist in our feelings for another person, he says that we feel consummate love for that person. What do these components mean?
# Decision/Commitment has both a short-term and long-term dimension. The short-term dimension occurs when we consciously decide that we love someone. The long-term dimension occurs when we commit to maintain that love. Interestingly, some evolve into commitment without ever consciously deciding to do so.
# Intimacy means closeness, connectedness, warmth, and bondedness. It has to do with understanding each other, accepting each other, and having open and intimate communication with each other.
# Passion is physical attraction, sexual desire, and other strong emotional attraction to another person.

So what does this mean to you?

Love is an emotion. No doubt about that. That’s part of love’s power. It can leap over our thoughts and capture our hearts. The exhilaration that comes with being swept up in the rip tide of emotions is wonderfully terrifying!
On the other hand, love runs deeper than mere emotions. Its current cuts deeply into our thoughts and captures our imagination. When love ebbs, eddies, or hides, we deeply yearn for that feeling of being in love.
Love is bigger than emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and experiences. Love is a verb. The guts and grit of love are centered in our actions and deeds. We should not separate our understanding of love from the actions that must accompany it. Love is seen, demonstrated and expressed by what we do.
Love is bigger than emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and experiences.
Love is from God. It is the environment in which he lives and is the blessing he graciously shares. Incredibly, the Bible rarely if ever simply says that God loves us. Instead, it tells us that God showed us his love by giving, doing, sacrificing, and forgiving.

So as we get swept up on both the seriousness and silliness of Valentine’s Day fever, let’s hear the call of God to do more than buy an overpriced card, snag a bouquet of flowers, or box of chocolates. Let’s make a commitment to make our love real with some very intentionally planned loving actions. In other words, pick up that PIM or daily planner and space out some very specific things to do between now and next February 14. Love is a verb, so let’s get busy doing and not just talking, thinking, and feeling.

SHARE THE LOVE YOU HAVE!!! God bless you all :)

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