Love Means Choosing

Love Means Choosing

In a lot of ways, I’m the most blessed man I know. I have a great life. I’ve been happily married for 35 years. In a few weeks, Jeannie and I will go on an extended trip to celebrate, and I’ll try to talk her into a 36th year.

Our sons have grown up to be good men in their own right. Both have married extremely well (We love Deb and Nan!), and both are successful in their chosen careers. As parents, we couldn’t be prouder. And I’m going to be a grandfather in August! Chris and Deb will be welcoming a little girl into our family.

Being the pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church still challenges me in every way. I’m one of the few pastors you know who loves coming to work. I love the opportunities God is opening up for our church and the team I work with. I could easily be guilty of over-working, but honestly, it wouldn’t feel like work.

Add to all of that my mother moving up here in November and well, you have a lot of love for just one man.

Here’s what I’m discovering…again. (I seem to have to learn this lesson over and over.) Love doesn’t happen by accident. Love requires a choice. What’s more, once chosen, love must be chosen again and again throughout the day.

Here’s what I mean by that. Most mornings, I have coffee with my mom. It’s the way I start my day. Now, that means I can’t attend most breakfast meetings I’m invited to. That’s the time I choose to be with my mom. Jeannie and I have to be very intentional about our dates. We have to get our calendars together and mark off time to be with each other. I know that doesn’t sound very romantic or spontaneous, but it’s a lot more romantic than missing my time with her. Sometimes, it means turning off the television and turning off my cell phone and paying attention to a conversation—either with Jeannie or with one of my sons. OK, so I miss some great moments in sports…but that’s the choice I make.

Love doesn’t just happen. Each time a decision has to be made. Love must be chosen…again and again and again.

So, what are you choosing right now? Are you choosing love or has something less important distracted you? Think about it and let me know.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Love Means Choosing

  1. I loved this! I have heard it said that we do not choose to fall in love, but we must choose to stay in love.

  2. I was incensed as a foster parent in Feb. and got my fist placement under 2 weeks ago. I’ve been struggling to feel love for this sweet child in my life. Your post gives me hope that I will soon feel the emotion and not just do the work as I try to build my relationship with this sweet child.

  3. You are right. Love is a choice. When love is reflected by the limitless love Christ has for us, it has a deeper more profound meaning when we show love for those around us. Taking time away from self to spend more time engaged in an interaction with our spouses, children and parents it shows them that they matter. Isn’t that all what we all want? To be seen and valued. Some experts say that if you practice something for 10,000 hours you become well qualified and can master anything. I read a book that used the example of the hours that the Beatles put in playing in Germany that honed their skills. I think about all the distractions in the world and I intentionally choose to put the hours in with my child. I want to be paying attention to who he is going to be (he’s 9). More so with my husband. If we do not pay attention and purposely put the time in, we might simply and easily grow apart and wake up one day, asking, who is this person? Love your article. Spot on.