“I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2

We live in a culture that usually focuses on love as something romantic and celebrates the idea of ‘falling in love’; that head over heels rush of feelings that is powerful and wonderful. Of course anyone who has ‘fallen in love’ also knows that while love may remain, that feeling is transitory.

We can broaden this idea of falling in love to include the first stage of any new relationship, be it the love of a new couple, the birth of a child, or the formation of a new friendship. But after the first phase of falling in love we need to reflect on the importance of what comes after – standing in love. To ‘stand in love’ is an understanding that love is not only a feeling, but also a decision.

When a friend or family member cares for a chronically ill loved one, they are standing in love. When a person faces down their fear and stands up to racism, (for example), that person is standing in love. When a person refuses to give up on someone they care about who is struggling, they are standing in love.

What do you think of the distinction between ‘falling in love’ and ‘standing in love’? When in the past, have you made a decision to stand in love? How might you decide to stand in love (for a person, cause, etc.) today?

Linda Ashfield, minister at Knox Waterloo