Summary: The emotion of love and living a life of love can be very complicated. How do we navigate through all the confusing and emotionally charged stuff involved in love? By knowing God and walking in God's ways.

A. One day two men named Bill and Steve were discussing the possibility of love. “I thought I was in love three times,” said Bill.

1. Steve asked, “Thought you were in love, what do you mean?”

2. The man explained, “Three years ago, I cared very deeply for a woman who wanted nothing to do with me, so that wasn’t love, it was obsession.”

3. He continued, “Then two years ago, I cared very deeply for an attractive woman who didn’t understand me, and we weren’t a good match.”

a. “Would you call that love?” asked Steve.

4. “No,” said Bill, “it was mostly infatuation. But then last year, I met a woman while I was on a cruise. She was beautiful and intelligent, a great conversationalist and had a great sense of humor. Everywhere I followed her on that ship, I would get a very strange sensation in the pit of my stomach.”

a. Steve asked, “Well, wasn’t that love?”

b. Bill replied, “Nope, just motion sickness!”

B. Today, as we continue our sermon series on emotions, I want to talk about the emotion of love.

1. Wouldn’t you think that the emotion of love would be the simplest and most straight forward of all the emotions? But that isn’t the case!

2. The emotion of love and living a life of love can be very complicated.

3. For one thing, there are many kinds of love – there’s romantic love, there’s family love and friendship love, and then there’s the things we love – pets and sports, work and hobbies, experiences and places.

4. There are things we should love and things we should not love.

5. Then there’s the question – is love a feeling or a decision? Is it an emotion or an action?

C. Consider all of the confusing messages we get from our culture, especially in the media – movies, television and music.

1. By far the majority of all songs written and recorded are about romantic love and relationships.

2. Here’s a sampling of the messages we get from pop music about love.

3. The title for this sermon is from a song by Queen: “This thing called love, I just can't handle it. This thing called love, I must get ‘round to it, I ain’t ready, Crazy little thing called love.”

4. Then there’s the sappy song by Morris Albert: “Feelings, nothing more than feelings, Trying to forget my feelings of love. Feelings…oh, oh, oh, feelings…”

5. Then there’s the Elvis song: “Wise men say, Only fools rush in, But I can't help falling in love with you.”

6. Or how about Tina Turner’s song: “What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second-hand emotion? What’s love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”

7. Or how about Debbie Boone’s song: “It can’t be wrong, When it feels so right, ‘Cause you, you light up my life.”

8. Here’s one last example from the Righteous Brothers: “You lost that lovin’ feelin’, Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’, You lost that lovin’ feelin’, Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh.”

D. Well, I think we would all agree that love can be pretty crazy.

1. That when you take a chance on loving someone, your heart can be broken.

2. But is love just a second-hand emotion? Is it nothing more than feelings? And if you lose that lovin’ feelin’ is it gone, gone, gone for good?

3. And what about not being able to keep from falling in love and the question: can it be wrong even if it feels so right?

4. See, how do we navigate through all of that confusing and emotionally charged stuff?

5. I think it starts with knowing God and God’s word, and trying to walk in God’s ways.

E. But before we go there, I want to remind us of some important things about emotions in general.

1. Throughout this series, I have been trying to remind us that emotions are a gift from God.

2. God has created us with the capacity to feel in order that our lives might be enriched.

3. And when it comes to our emotions, we need to avoid two extremes:

a. On the one hand, we need to avoid the extreme that ignores or suppresses our emotions.

b. On the other hand, we need to avoid the extreme that allows our emotions to be in-charge.

4. In other words, emotions aren’t the most important thing about you and me, but neither are they the least important thing about us.

a. We can err on the side of making emotions everything and we turn toward emotionalism.

b. Or we can err on the side of making emotions nothing and we turn toward stoicism.

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