In the darkness of my kitchen the Holy Spirit shines a little bit of light and I see a little bit of growth in the other side of the realization that I do, sometimes at least, love because of who I am choosing to be right now, and that is why I am choosing to behave the way that I am. I choose to behave lovingly because I choose to be an open-hearted loving person instead of the closed-hearted self-protecting person. I choose to behave lovingly regardless of how you're treating me, if you're living up to my expectations or reciprocating the way I hoped you would. Because who can live under the weight of my expectations?
This is important in marriage, and I feel like this is the area where I practice this intentionally the most but this is do or die with my teens right now. A lot of parenting my teens lately has been about holding my peace. Letting them talk. Trying to set a good example and let them learn from that. Turn down the lectures and turn up the love. Love that is rarely reciprocated the way I'd like it to be.
So why love?
I love because I am loved first by God.
I love because it is who I am.
I love because it is who I choose to be.