... That you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV)
The birth of Jesus reflects the truth that love is a choice and a commitment. You choose to love or you choose not to love.
Today we've bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it's something that just happens to us; it's not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, "I fell in love," as if love is some kind of a ditch. It's like I'm walking along one day and bam! - I fell in love. I couldn't help myself.
But I have to tell you the truth - that's not love. Love doesn't just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.
There's no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.
You must choose to love God; he won't force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won't force you to love him. Because he knows love can't be forced.
And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won't force you to love anyone.