He Loved Her

“He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing.”
–Sherman Alexie

My husband and I have this quote hanging in our bedroom. It has always spoken to something inside of me. I just love it, but the other day as I was brushing my teeth I looked at it and got this new revelation of what the author was saying. We teach our children to sing Jesus Loves Me, and there has never been a truer statement, but “better than that, He chose us.” When faced with the choice of humbling himself to become fully human and come to earth as a baby, he chose us. When faced with ridicule and persecution for healing and changing lives, he chose us. When faced with a horrible death on a cross, he chose us. He loves his bride, of course, but He also chose her. “Choice: that was the thing.”

Can we say the same thing? When asked if we love Jesus the answer is, “Of course!” But do we choose Him? Yes, we chose Him once, we asked Him to be Lord of our lives and surrendered ourselves to Him, but do we choose Him day after day? Is that not where true love lies: in the choice? When everything is beautiful, and life is perfect, do we choose Him? When the storm comes and we cannot even bear to open our eyes, do we still choose Him? When we are hurt and broken and see no way out of our chaos, do we choose Him even then? “Choice: that is the thing.”

But God took it farther for me. Because what is love without choice? 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NKJV) says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” Paul goes on to describe what love looks like and you know what it looks like? CHOICE.

In relationships when love is spoken but isn’t followed up with the action of choosing, pain and distrust are the byproducts. I think we, as a culture, have a skewed reality in believing that love is something you say to someone instead of something you show. According to Paul in 1st Corinthians, there is no love without action. Love looks like something: Choice. So, am I actually loving others? What is the litmus test for me? Is it that butterfly feeling in my stomach? Is it how many times a day I say it? No. Am I choosing others? That is the evidence. When I am in a rush to get to work but my child needs me to kiss a boo-boo, do I choose him? When I am rushing through Wal-Mart just trying to get out of there, and I see someone hurting, do I choose them? If not, what am I saying? Am I showing the world the love of Jesus? “Choice: that is the thing.”

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