Everyone says that love is a choice, but I pray that it’s not all true. I would like to think that there is someone out there who does have that passionate sense of intense affection for me that I feel for her. Someone who destiny, or God maybe, has put out there for me. Not just an “I choose you-” maybe the choice isn’t just in our hands.
I respectfully disagree that true love is a choice.
Then what is the cross of Jesus Christ? Was it a warm fuzzy that induced him to be tortured beyond endurance? It was His choice to give us the highest and best good.
Part of the problem here is, as SMHW as implied, is what is the definition of the term “love.” BTW, SMHW had a good answer there, recommend you follow up on that one.
So, asking what is “true love” is also dependent on the definition of love. “True Eros,” for example, is the kind of passion that Rascalking refers to, the “feeling” of being one with another person of the other sex.
I think a better way to approach the question is to ask what is TRUE love, rather than what is true LOVE. First, find Truth, and then you can find out what “true” love is.
So, where to start? Well, Truth is God, as He defines reality.
What does God have to say about “love?” All you have to do is look to scripture - God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die for us. If God is Truth, and God says this about love, then “true” love is shown on the Cross. That is, a self-sacrificing love that intends for the beloved the highest and best good.
That, by necessity, is a choice. There can be feelings associated with the choice, but it is still at its root a choice. I think this is where your GF’s mother is confused - Agape is a choice, but feelings can be associated with the choice.
Let’s try this for an example:
I don’t get a warm fuzzy thinking about throwing myself in the path of a bullet to save my young daughter - but you betcha that I will. Why? Because I love her in the fullest sense of the term (agape). I don’t want to do that; I’ll try to avoid it, but if I’m forced and I have a choice then I will chose to do so in order to provide for her highest and best good at my own expense. I do have feelings about this hypothetical choice, in that I feel warm fuzzies for my daughter and I want her to keep on living, but ultimately it is the choice and the action that reflect the love.
Now, let’s mix it up. Let’s say that it’s not my daughter, but rather a homeless man I’ve never known; someone who has committed countless crimes. Let’s say, for his benefit and not to harm myself, I consciously throw myself into the path of the bullet intended for him.
Do I have warm fuzzies for this man? No. Is this still an act of love? Yes!
From this example you can see that “true” love, that which reflects God, is at its root a choice. Yes, there might be feelings associted with the choice, but at its core it’s a choice.
(Incidentally, Christ died an innocent man to save the guilty… if that’s not a choice, what is?)