Conversation Corner
Family Corner (Loving Our Enemies --May 2003)

Love is a decision, not just a feeling. Discuss the difference between loving and liking someone.


Date: 5/13/2003 10:31:10 AM
Name or Pseudonym: Pat
Subject: Prayer warrior

I see what you mean, and I would agree that all actions are based on choice - but not that all responses are. For instance, if someone hurts me my first response may be to hurt them back - this response happens so quickly that I do not have a choice in it. However, I do have a choice in my actions - will I ACTUALLY hurt them back, or overcome my natural response? Similarly, with love.

You say that some people "choose" not to love their spouse and children. Do you mean that they choose not to treat them with kindness and respect, or do you mean that they make a conscious decision not to allow themselves to feel love for their family? There is a difference between feelings and actions. Feelings cannot be helped: actions can be.

A person does not have to "feel" love for others; such a lack of "feeling" does not prevent the Christian from loving their neighbour with their will. That kind of love is certainly a choice. But the "emotional" kind of love? I don’t think we have a choice about that. I can only say that I have had no conscious choice in loving those that I do. Certainly I have a choice as to how I express that love.

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