I recently had an interesting conversation with my pastor (I'll call him "Mike"). He was talking about the idea of loving Jesus more than we love anyone or anything else. As Christians, we believe that if we love Jesus first, in turn, He will help us to love our families and everyone around us in a better way than we could ever love them on our own.
So when Mike mentioned this, I agreed with the concept, but admitted that I struggle with loving Jim more than I love God. That's when Mike started talking about what love really was. When you love someone, you want what is best for them in every circumstance. I could not agree more.
Mike then quoted Jesus from the Bible. "If you love me, obey my . . ." Mike hesitated so I could fill in the last word. I knew what it was right away. The missing word was "commandments." And that's when hit me. Honestly, sometimes I'm so slow, I surprise myself! I was confusing love with, wait for it . . . feelings!
Love is a decision, not a feeling. I know that, but I forget. Oh, I often have the warm fuzzies when I think of Jim, but not always. There are even some days that there is not much feeling at all. (I'm sure he would say the same thing!) The days that I don't have feelings are not an indication that I've stopped loving Jim. I'm still committed to him. I still want the very best for him. I will still act upon those decisions to stay committed to him, whether I feel it or not. And the same is true of my relationship with Jesus. I don't often feel warm fuzzies when I think about God. Well, sometimes I do, but because I feel them for Jim so much more often than I feel them for Jesus, I was "feeling" like I love Jim more than Jesus. But Jesus Himself didn't say, "if you love me, you must feel warm fuzzies." He said, "if you love me, obey my commandments." John 14:15 NLT. Though I certainly don't do it perfectly, I do try to follow His commands and make choices for my life that will honor Him. According to His definition, that equals love.
So what does this mean for those of us with OCD? Quite a bit, actually. For those of you who struggle with Scrupulousity, feeling like you don't love God enough, well, thankfully, it's not about how you feel! It's about your intent to live for Him. And no, I'm NOT referring to following every little rule to an unbelievable, unattainable, and obsessive standard. What I mean is that God knows your heart. It is your heart that tells the story of love. You show your love when you live your life and make choices with Him and His glory, in mind.
I think this also relates to those who struggle with Relationship OCD (ROCD). I know it can take different forms. I suspect, however, that one of the forms it takes is questioning whether you love people in your life enough, if you don't have the "feelings" of love. Well, again, if you are making choices in your life that are for the benefit and betterment of those you have close relationships with, that sure sounds like true love to me!
Love is not a feeling. It is a choice and a decision. Must. Get. That. Through. My. Thick. Skull.