One of the questions I ask is why. Why do you love him or her?
Answers are usually along the lines of: funny, smart, cute, pretty, hot, Christian, etc.
And although those are attributes of a person that you may like, they are weak reasons for love. How many of those things would the person have to lose before you stop loving them? How many of those things were we when Christ died for us?
This, in my waking understanding at 6something am, is love:
I'm giving you my heart, fully knowing you are going to break it and drop it and stomp on it and desecrate it, either willingly or unwillingly, but I will pick up the pieces, wash them off, put them back together, and give it back to you just so you can do it again. And I will do this over and over until I die or Jesus takes me home.
I believe we choose to love, not choose to feel love as if it were a noun, but choose to love as if it were a verb. We love when it's hard. We love when it hurts. We love when it seems impossible and we are being abused. We love when we can't take it anymore and all our friends tell us that it's hopeless. We love because we were first loved.
Now just because we love doesn't mean we get into relationships. I can love friends that way and never date them. Love doesn't equal sex. Love doesn't equal marriage. Love doesn't equal attraction. Love equals sacrifice. Love equals loss. Love equals suffering. If you are not willing to suffer at the hands of the one you love, you do not love that one. You love you.
Therefore, dating is not the expression of love. Dating is the cheaper form of marriage. People date because, for whatever reason, they don't want to commit to marriage and settle for dating. The more I deal with it, the more I hate it. The more I see of it, the more I see the destruction it brings. As I see those two who are dating grow closer together, the more I see them grow farther from others who love them and hurt and suffer for them. It's an imitation of what God made to be between a man and a woman and we are selling out. God has given us His heart, and we break it and drop it and stomp on it and desecrate it. And He just keeps handing it back so we can do it again.
How He loves us is wonderful. I love my God.