Love is a choice.


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

-John 13:34, NIV

Jesus is not commanding our feelings. That would not make sense. Our emotions just are. A command implies a choice to do or not to do something. That means we have a choice–i.e. our will is involved–in deciding whether or not to obey this command to love each other.

This is an important concept to understand. It is counter-cultural to how our society speaks of romantic love–e.g. “I fell in love with her,” etc. However, I believe this approach to love in general is at the heart of a healthy Christian ethic on sexuality. Like Jesus’ command, we need to see such relationships as framed in terms of choice and action.

Cheaters had and made choices.

Whether or not their feelings pointed them towards cheating is irrelevant. That was not love speaking but lust. Love–in the Christian sense–is not a feeling. It is an action chosen or not chosen by the agent choosing or not choosing to love.

Faithful spouses had and made choices.

It is not like faithful spouses live in a temptation free world. They chose not to act on the temptation, though. Instead of blaming circumstances or their own feelings and sugar-coating it as “falling in love,” faithful spouses demonstrated love by honoring their marriage vows “forsaking all others.

As long as we play into the pagan narrative that love happens to people as opposed to it being a matter of choice, we will feed the lies about how circumstances allegedly cause affairs.

Affairs are not caused by circumstances. They are caused by sinners choosing to indulge the evil in his or her heart (see James 1:13-15). And marriages survive not based on said circumstances but based on two people choosing to obey Christ’s command to love each other!