October 17, 2017

A Letter About Choosing Love

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 17, 2017

By Shana Schutte

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

Before I married, I read an article online published by the Huffington Post written by Elad Nahori who says he was swooning with burning passion when he met his wife. But he also writes that he didn’t really love his wife when he married her.

“This fire was burning in me, a fire that burned just like that second date: I was in love.

But then we got married, and everything changed. Marriage, quicker than I was ready for, did this thing: It started sucking away that emotion.”

Thankfully, Elad later learned a priceless secret some people never learn: when feelings fade, love is a choice, an act of the will. And when you choose love with God’s help, the emotion of love often follows.

With this truth in mind, I wrote a letter to myself just before I walked down the aisle. If you are married or single, I hope it encourages you.

Dear Self,

As you enter into the holy covenant of marriage, there are some things you need to remember. These are godly principles that, if heeded, can prevent you from falling into marital destruction.

You know that once the flower of romance fades, the warts of our humanity show and the flutter of love abandons the human heart, then the choice to love must be made.

You also know selfishness and pride are the roots of contention, and that fighting with one’s mate instead of fighting for one’s marriage is a cause of much heartache.

You know the need to control, blame, or the inability to be flexible causes strife.

You know pride destroys relationships (Proverbs 16:18), but humility draws people together.

You know tenderness is necessary, and compassion required, to make any relationship work.

You know your internal wounds can cause you to unrealistically expect your mate to meet needs God never intended for them to meet.

You know submission to your mate is about submitting to Christ (Ephesians 5:21). If you refuse to keep a tender heart, admit your wrongs, put your mate first, exercise loving patience, and care for your mate like you care for yourself, you are in rebellion against your Lord.

You also know transparency often begets transparency, that tenderness begets tenderness, and that trust takes time to build but can easily be destroyed in a moment. You know contention, dissension and selfish ambition are works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20) and are agreements with the devil.

You know you cannot change your mate, but that with God’s help you can change yourself. You know love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), forgiveness is required, (Ephesians 4:32) and encouragement is needed for the human heart to feel safe. And, you also know God is the only one who can help you do the above well.

So Self, throw yourself on Jesus. He is your Helper. He will remind you of truth (John 16:13). Guard against pride. Embrace humility and love, and consider your mate better than yourself (Philippians 2:3)

When both you and your mate practice these principles, you can win at love and your marriage can go the distance.

“Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).


Lord, help me to remember that you have given me the ability to create health and joy and hope in my relationships by how I treat others. Help me not to lean on emotions to lead me, but help me lead my heart with your truth and by godly actions.  Help me to love by an act of my will. Amen.


Choose one loving action to put into practice today with the one closest to you, whether a mate, a friend, or a relative.

Related Reading

Romans 12:10; 1 John 3:18; Romans 13:8; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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  1. Mike Y. says:

    This is inspired and great writing Shana. Here’s something similar that I liked about love after the feelings fade. “It’s one thing to love when the flowers are in bloom, but the real test of love is in the winter, when things are not going great in your life. You choose to love in spite of how you feel and give the other person what she needs, not what she deserves. We are to choose to love others like God loves us.” Rick Warren And there’s this from Louis de Bernieres: “Love is a temporary madness; you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

    Thanks Shana for your blogs, vlogs and writings and God bless you and your Marriage.
    Mike Y.

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