“I choose you.”
That’s the essence of what it means to love isn’t it? In the midst of every other option, you are the one I choose.
These choices come up literally in every circumstance of our daily lives. It’s easy to choose your husband when he’s looking hot and he brings you flowers, or in my preference food, and he’s playing with the kids, that’s not hard at all. It’s a different story when he desperately needs a shower cause he’s a stinky man and he just stared at his phone from the second he walked in the door and he seems to be waiting for you to Giada De Laurentiis your way around the kitchen. That’s an entirely different choice you’re working with.
The reality of life is that we are constantly swinging as a pendulum of highs and lows but through it all we are still called to love. That being the case, love cannot possibly hold up to any testing of external forces or will if it is an uncontrollable feeling or emotion. Love must be a choice or else it doesn’t have any value in our world.
You see, for something to truly have value, it has to cost you something. In other words, the amount that you are willing to pay is the measure of value it has for you. So when we choose to love someone above ourselves; our desires, our plans, our abilities, what we really reveal is the price we’ve placed on that person.
Jesus demonstrated this so vividly by leaving a deserved throne in Glory for a rugged cross of torture and shame. In His sacrifice He obliterated the question, “does He really love me? Am I really worth it?” Because our worth was displayed for history to see. Our measure of worth is as far as one outstretched, nailed-pierced hand to the other.
God could have made us love Him but He didn’t. He shows us the value of the gift of love by allowing us to choose it, just as He chose us.
My son just turned one and as he now walks, eats and plays on his own I realize that I no longer control him. When he was an infant and laid around all day I could make him be with me and give me kisses and cuddles, and he had no say about it. Now that he is older I ask for kisses and sometimes he tells me no. Man, that is a sucky stage to get to, but I tell you it makes the kisses he does give me all the more sweet since he intentionally, freely, willingly gives them to me. When he crawls into my lap I know he really wants to be there, because he doesn’t have to be.
Never take lightly the gift we have in being able to choose love. Look upon your spouse or your parent or child or friends and intentionally choose them everyday. Say it verbally! The word says in Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love (choose) it will eat its fruit”. God spoke the world into existence; there is power in speaking truth!
My husband and I are now in the practice of not only saying “I love you” but also saying “I choose you.” I choose him when our kids are driving us mad. I choose him when I would rather Pinterest than listen or cook. I choose him when an old flame pops up on my Facebook and my flesh wants me to entertain the “what ifs”. Love has to be a choice you make not only on the outside, but in the secret places where no one else can see. I choose him when I sweep or do the dishes because I also choose to be grateful for the home he has provided through working. I choose him and he chooses me, so choosing him never leaves me high and dry cause I know while I’m over here choosing him, he is over there choosing me. Three words that are simple to say and hard to live out.
I choose love.
1 Corinthians 13 in my own translation goes as follows: Love chooses patience. It chooses to be kind. It chooses not the be envious, or boastful or proud. It chooses to honor others and it chooses to think of others first. Love chooses not to become angered and it chooses to easily forgive and forget. It chooses justice and righteousness every time. Love doesn’t always make the easy choice, but it always chooses the right one.
Sarah Hahn is a worship leader and wife of worship pastor Jojo Hahn. They have two kids, Eisley & Phoenix, and reside in Washington state. You can read more/follow their journey on Sarah’s blog sarahthewild.vsco.co or on Instagram @sarahstarryeyed