Can you help who you love?

I’ve heard many people say “You can’t help who you love” and honestly, it makes me cringe every time. Yes, sometimes love can get all wrapped up in your emotions and you can’t seem to untangle yourself, you might not even want to; but I would much rather an intentional love.

To me, love in its purest and strongest form, is intentional. We can read so many scriptures about love and they all require action.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

I’ve taken on this phrase “I love you on purpose”; if you follow my writings you’ve seen it at the end of each of my blog posts. Love requires work; just ask any married couple. Sometimes we recite scripture and don’t really take in the meaning:

  • “Love is patient”: When people are getting on your nerves, when they aren’t getting it right, when they don’t understand, love requires us to endure that.
  • “love keeps no record of wrong doing”: I’ll just let that one marinate on its own.
  • “It always protects”: even when we put ourselves in compromising positions.
  • “It always trusts”: I can’t say I love you and I don’t trust you
  • “It always hopes”: no stinkin’ thinkin’

To be humble and gentle and patient requires work. It requires you to constantly be mindful of your thoughts, your words and your actions. None of that happens by chance.

God calls us to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16) and to love everyone (Mark 12:30). Loving on purpose is our purpose. Can you imagine if we were all intentional in our love of others? I don’t just mean those people we are emotionally tied to and it feels like we can’t help but love them like a spouse or your child. I’m talking about strangers, people from different backgrounds and belief systems, people who live a different lifestyle, people of different ethnicities and cultures. What if we all made the conscious effort to love on purpose?

I’ve started with my family, friends, church family, and you my readers. I tell you that I love you on purpose because I do. I love you even though I’ve never met you. I pray for you fervently. I love the people close to me even when they get on my last nerve. I am in continuous prayer for God to guide my thoughts and my tongue so that everything that I think, say, and do is done in love. When I fall short, I make it right. That is what God called us to be for everyone.

God is our example of intentional love. He loves everyone, not just those that love Him back. We are reminded in 1 John 4:7 that love comes from God and to know God is to know love. The love of God is intentional and He placed it in each and every one of us to share with each other.

In this current social climate, the world needs intentional love. Love with some work behind it. Matthew 5:44 says “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”. So even in the worst situations with the most impossible people, show love. Not happenstantial love just to those who are appealing to you, it’s also intentional love to those who aren’t.

I love you on purpose.


Reverend Katrina Hardee-Brown Joined the Live Life Naked Team in 2017