Is love something we feel or something we do?

Is love something we feel or do?


  • Total voters
    23

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
We can think of love in two general ways.

1. Love is involuntaristic: In this sense love is a passion, an emotion. As a passion it is not something I have control over. I feel love so long as the feeling is there, and when it is gone there is not much I can do. I can't simply manufacture the feeling of love. If love is involuntaristic, then I can only love those to whom I feel love.

2. Love is voluntaristic: In this sense love is something I do. Specifically, love seeks to bring about what is good for the beloved. I can choose to love, because I can choose to act in a way that is good for others. Moreover, I can choose to love anyone and everyone by always doing what is in their best interests, as far as is reasonably possible.

It might be tempting to say love is both involuntaristic and voluntaristic. I would argue that is not the case, but I'm open to hearing any opinions to the contrary. Or, perhaps, love is something else altogether.

What do you think? Is love involuntaristic, voluntaristic, or both?
 

Sabertooth

Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints!
Supporter
Jul 25, 2005
10,039
6,851
60
Wisconsin
Visit site
✟753,957.00
Country
United States
Faith
Charismatic
Marital Status
Married
Politics
US-Others
"We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19 NKJV

I believe that when we receive the Holy Spirit,
we get a sense of His love for others
and what He would like to do for them, through us.
He is moved by love and we are moved right along with Him,
both in feelings AND in action.

It is as if we are dancing with Him while He leads.

TLDR: Love is something that we accommodate and avail ourselves to.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

mlepfitjw

May you be blessed!
Jun 23, 2020
1,632
1,096
Alabama
✟29,877.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Private
Great question and hope more will comment on this subject, public hermit.​

You might be think this would be a great thing to do is to go and look and see how Jesus Christ had lived his life and how he expressed his love towards others.

The disciples sometimes tell people something along the lines - go away the Lord is busy right now -, then the Lord would say hey do not stop them let them come to me.​

There is one instance of two blind men calling out to the Son of David to have mercy on them, and the crowds told them -shh be quiet- but they cried louder, and the Lord Jesus Christ came over to them to see what was wrong, and then healed them.

After healing who was it? Peters mother? The very day afterwards she served them a meal, and people brought all the sick, lame, and blind to him, and he healed them all.​

There was a man - hurting in darkness of a cave, cutting himself - he was so dangerous anyone went that way, they would end up dead ( assumption ), and He came willingly to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking for help even though he was still completely shattered in darkness, and he did not rebuke him and instead healed him.

Looking at the Lord Jesus Christ and all the amazing things he had done in his life, shows what love is, it is a kind act that has been motivated by God in Him (God with us Emmanuel), and believe that Jesus Christ our Lord loved God with all his heart, all his mind, all his soul, and loved his neighbour as himself. By being kind, humble, gentle, loving, regardless to whoever it was, even if they hated him.​

For even on the Cross - even though Jesus Christ was talking about the Romans not knowing what they were doing as they tossed lots for his clothes - also believe that he meant for all people. "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing."

This is my only conclusion when it comes to what love looks like and is, even Jesus Christ stopped the stoning a prostitute.

There is probably more that could be added, have no idea how many people read the bible, what they are looking for in it as they read it, or what they are looking forward to afterwards but the holy spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ living with-in us, is a very real thing.​

Every time we go and pray we are going to the throne of grace to receive mercy in times of need and help. Also helping others own our own be-half praying for them (love in action).

These things to me are an assurance of things hoped for by having faith in God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

One day we will die in this world and will be giving a spiritual inhabitance which God gives us which will be our body, and all people will be given different bodies after this life, and believe that we can be close to God in this life here and now, while we are living and express our faith in what we have as a living hope that God has promised for all man-kind.​

Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Peace, Joy, Forbearance, that comes from the holy spirit, and the spirit of Christ with-in us.

And at the end of this life, resurrection as the Lord Jesus Christ has been. - Though there are two different ones, Resurrection of Life, and Resurrection of Condemnation.

Love is a verb, it is something you do, however you sometimes have to be discerning to in life though we will be abused, and talked badly about - you have to keep holding on to faith, and trusting God in persevering through times of troubles.​

It is possible to live at peace with others, and you are always going to be responsible to God alone in your own actions you take, be thankful for the good moments, and pray for the moments that are not so good and lean on the Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father in heaven for hope and help!​

God bless thank you for reading.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Dave L

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
15,568
5,874
USA
✟579,960.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Married
We can think of love in two general ways.

1. Love is involuntaristic: In this sense love is a passion, an emotion. As a passion it is not something I have control over. I feel love so long as the feeling is there, and when it is gone there is not much I can do. I can't simply manufacture the feeling of love. If love is involuntaristic, then I can only love those to whom I feel love.

2. Love is voluntaristic: In this sense love is something I do. Specifically, love seeks to bring about what is good for the beloved. I can choose to love, because I can choose to act in a way that is good for others. Moreover, I can choose to love anyone and everyone by always doing what is in their best interests, as far as is reasonably possible.

It might be tempting to say love is both involuntaristic and voluntaristic. I would argue that is not the case, but I'm open to hearing any opinions to the contrary. Or, perhaps, love is something else altogether.

What do you think? Is love involuntaristic, voluntaristic, or both?
Our love is greatest when we force ourselves to love those we hate. As in loving enemies. But I love my wife without effort.
 
Upvote 0

bèlla

❤️
Supporter
Jan 16, 2019
19,848
17,127
USA
✟862,309.00
Country
United States
Faith
Non-Denom
Marital Status
In Relationship
Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

The answer will depend on your wound and the impact your beginning had. We try to replicate positive experiences and remedy negative ones subconsciously.

Love is a feeling is the human response to expressions of love or its absence. Love is doing will fall along the same lines. Whatever you experienced will be part of the answer. Good or bad.

I grew up in a loving environment with verbal and physical demonstrations of love. My parents were expressive. As were my siblings and relatives. We say I love you a lot. Giving and sharing are strong hallmarks of our family. We aren’t lone wolves. If someone’s suffering we pitch in.

Based on earlier experiences, love is feeling and doing. But adulthood brought another dimension. Something beyond the mind, heart, or demonstrative acts. It was nameless for a time but I knew it was something different. Otherworldly.

I encountered holiness. A multi-dimension testimony and union of spirits I’ve never felt and echo David’s words:

My brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.

Love traverses many planes. To lump it into one dismisses the others. Loving in the manner you described doesn’t replicate Jonathan and David. That’s a whole different sphere.

It doesn’t lessen the others.. Some people need to hear love to feel loved. Others require acts of love to feel the same.

It isn’t a question of one or the other. You need both. It depends on what the circumstances require. The prescription must fit the ailment. Then you’re meeting them where they are.

Yours in His Service,

~bella
 
Upvote 0

mlepfitjw

May you be blessed!
Jun 23, 2020
1,632
1,096
Alabama
✟29,877.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Private
Guess we all have different opinions about love. The one who expressed it would be the one to truly learn from guess that is an opinion, and we also have the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. For me to operate on feelings would be to attract all people around me to me for my own benefit for have used love and smooth words that were clever and all lies for the sake of my own benefit, so guess it really depends on where your treasure is in your heart. The way the world loves is very different how God shows us to love through the Lord Jesus Christ. For me to take my eyes on heavenly ways and treasures that are stored in the heart for me is a loss.
 
  • Like
Reactions: public hermit
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
I ask myself, how do we know Jesus's love for us? Was it by how he felt or by what he did? I don't know that we could divine how he felt, but what he did is clear. He did what was in our best interest.

And, perhaps, that's true in all cases of love. Love is communicated mostly through action. Someone can say they love us, but what they do validates, or not, their claim. Whatever the case, feelings are hidden. Actions reveal. God's love was revealed through the actions of Christ.
 
Upvote 0

Dave L

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
15,568
5,874
USA
✟579,960.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Married
Guess we all have different opinions about love. The one who expressed it would be the one to truly learn from guess that is an opinion, and we also have the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. For me to operate on feelings would be to attract all people around me to me for my own benefit for have used love and smooth words that were clever and all lies for the sake of my own benefit, so guess it really depends on where your treasure is in your heart. The way the world loves is very different how God shows us to love through the Lord Jesus Christ. For me to take my eyes on heavenly ways and treasures that are stored in the heart for me is a loss.
If you love people as Christ does, you will make them hate you for telling them the truth.
 
Upvote 0

mlepfitjw

May you be blessed!
Jun 23, 2020
1,632
1,096
Alabama
✟29,877.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Private
Well was fixing to edit my post in saying try to operate on truth more than feelings, though feelings are still apart of me, there times when depression arises, my anger might arise, those are the two biggest issues for me, just the other day really bad thoughts arise but decided to turn to God and be thankful for every good moment that was had that day.

This life tough, and there will be sometimes when meeting people the only option to do is respect them regardless of what they may believe or have done to themselves because the Bible tells us to live in peace with everyone and since God is the judge we can’t go around condemning or judging people.

my final comment take care.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
Since God is love, perhaps love should be something we are. I think this part of our nature was broken when humanity chose sin, but through theosis, we can become love again.

Oh, I like that a lot. Love should be something we are. We are being transformed into his image from glory to glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18
 
  • Like
Reactions: LaSorcia
Upvote 0

mlepfitjw

May you be blessed!
Jun 23, 2020
1,632
1,096
Alabama
✟29,877.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Private
I ask myself, how do we know Jesus's love for us? Was it by how he felt or by what he did? I don't know that we could divine how he felt, but what he did is clear. He did what was in our best interest.

And, perhaps, that's true in all cases of love. Love is communicated mostly through action. Someone can say they love us, but what they do validates, or not, their claim. Whatever the case, feelings are hidden. Actions reveal. God's love was revealed through the actions of Christ.


This is something that would make me agree with you.
 
  • Friendly
Reactions: public hermit
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
Well was fixing to edit my post in saying try to operate on truth more than feelings, though feelings are still apart of me, there times when depression arises, my anger might arise, those are the two biggest issues for me, just the other day really bad thoughts arise but decided to turn to God and be thankful for every good moment that was had that day.

This life tough, and there will be sometimes when meeting people the only option to do is respect them regardless of what they may believe or have done to themselves because the Bible tells us to live in peace with everyone and since God is the judge we can’t go around condemning or judging people.

my final comment take care.

Thank you for your comments, Agallagher. They are always appreciated.
 
  • Friendly
Reactions: bèlla
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
One thing to consider concerning the notion that love is something we primarily feel is that our feelings vary through time. In other words, no one emotion persists unchanged through time.

I think of a close family member that I love. I would say, in all confidence, that I always love this family member. My love does not change through time. However, I don't always feel only one particular emotion in relation to this family member. Sometimes I feel joy in relation to this family, at other times frustration, at other times sadness, and affection, etc. If there is an emotion that we can pinpoint and call "love," that emotion does not persist through time in relation to this person. Sometimes I might feel it, and at others I might not. But, if love is primarily something I feel, then I can only say I love this person when I feel that emotion. But, of course, I love them even when that emotion is not present.

So, what is it that persists in relation to this person no matter what I feel? The one thing that persists is that I always want what is good for this person. And, when possible, I do what is good in relation to this person. Or, at least, I try. :)

It is true that love is often attended by emotion (joy, affection, compassion, etc.), but emotion is not essential to love. What is essential to love is my constant desire (intention) for the good of the beloved.
 
Upvote 0

Halbhh

Everything You say is Life to me
Supporter
Mar 17, 2015
16,300
8,822
catholic -- embracing all Christians
✟975,361.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Married
We can think of love in two general ways.

1. Love is involuntaristic: In this sense love is a passion, an emotion. As a passion it is not something I have control over. I feel love so long as the feeling is there, and when it is gone there is not much I can do. I can't simply manufacture the feeling of love. If love is involuntaristic, then I can only love those to whom I feel love.

2. Love is voluntaristic: In this sense love is something I do. Specifically, love seeks to bring about what is good for the beloved. I can choose to love, because I can choose to act in a way that is good for others. Moreover, I can choose to love anyone and everyone by always doing what is in their best interests, as far as is reasonably possible.

It might be tempting to say love is both involuntaristic and voluntaristic. I would argue that is not the case, but I'm open to hearing any opinions to the contrary. Or, perhaps, love is something else altogether.

What do you think? Is love involuntaristic, voluntaristic, or both?
Both, definitely. We do use the word to cover a lot of different things in English. While I really enjoyed Plato's Symposium -- very much, and it remained a treasured book on the shelf, in time I realized that 1 Corinthians chapter 13 is more far reaching. So, there is that emphasis on chosen actions, or it can be read that way, but in the best way I think it's...also involuntary in one sense, in a way. Even though we do actions of love by choice, there is that deeper conviction underneath. It's that deeper conviction that motivates those voluntary chosen actions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: public hermit
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
Both, definitely. We do use the word to cover a lot of different things in English. While I really enjoyed Plato's Symposium -- very much, and it remained a treasured book on the shelf, in time I realized that 1 Corinthians chapter 13 is more far reaching. So, there is that emphasis on chosen actions, or it can be read that way, but in the best way I think it's...also involuntary in one sense, in a way. Even though we do actions of love by choice, there is that deeper conviction underneath. It's that deeper conviction that motivates those voluntary chosen actions.

I would agree that 1 Corinthians 13 is much closer to true love than what we find in Plato's Symposium. According to Plato's account, love in relation to the other is always instrumental. The beloved is a means to something else. The object of love, for Plato, is the form of Beauty/Goodness. Diotima tells Socrates that love is an ascent. We begin by perceiving beauty in one person, from there we see the quality of beauty in several and from there we ascend to the form of Beauty/Goodness.

So, according to Diotima (Plato), we never love the beloved for the sake of the beloved. We love the beauty/goodness we perceive in the beloved, but if we are going to enter into true love we transcend the particulars of individual instances of beauty and goodness in order to perceive the form of Beauty/Goodness. In this case, the beloved is used as a means.

In Paul's account the object of love is the beloved, i.e. the beloved is loved for her sake and not necessarily her qualities or some transcendent form of those qualities. Love is patient (for the sake of the beloved). Love is kind (to the beloved). Love is not envious (of the beloved), etc. So, on Paul's account, the beloved is the object of one's love. In fact, he goes so far as to say we are to put the good of the beloved ahead of our own. (Philippians 2:3)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Halbhh
Upvote 0

Halbhh

Everything You say is Life to me
Supporter
Mar 17, 2015
16,300
8,822
catholic -- embracing all Christians
✟975,361.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Married
One thing to consider concerning the notion that love is something we primarily feel is that our feelings vary through time. In other words, no one emotion persists unchanged through time.

I think of a close family member that I love. I would say, in all confidence, that I always love this family member. My love does not change through time. However, I don't always feel only one particular emotion in relation to this family member. Sometimes I feel joy in relation to this family, at other times frustration, at other times sadness, and affection, etc. If there is an emotion that we can pinpoint and call "love," that emotion does not persist through time in relation to this person. Sometimes I might feel it, and at others I might not. But, if love is primarily something I feel, then I can only say I love this person when I feel that emotion. But, of course, I love them even when that emotion is not present.

So, what is it that persists in relation to this person no matter what I feel? The one thing that persists is that I always want what is good for this person. And, when possible, I do what is good in relation to this person. Or, at least, I try. :)

It is true that love is often attended by emotion (joy, affection, compassion, etc.), but emotion is not essential to love. What is essential to love is my constant desire (intention) for the good of the beloved.
This is useful and encouraging, a good reminder that we persist even though we have times when it is challenging. I remember that my best well of reserve (refreshing) by far is to remember Christ's love for me, or feel God's love in the heart, and then suddenly I have all my patience again, and can listen, because I know I'm loved.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: public hermit
Upvote 0

public hermit

social troglodyte
Supporter
Aug 20, 2019
9,693
10,725
East Coast
✟641,747.00
Country
United States
Faith
Christian
Marital Status
Single
Politics
US-Others
This is useful and encouraging, a good reminder that we persist even though we have times when it is challenging. I remember that my best well of reserve (refreshing) by far is to remember Christ's love for me, or feel God's love in the heart, and then suddenly I have all my patience again, and can listen, because I know I'm loved.

Exactly. And what is that we know about God's love for us? God is working all things towards our good. (Romans 8:28) And, nothing can separate us from God's love in Jesus Christ.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Halbhh
Upvote 0