Love is a Choice.
Yes, it is. I love the title of this book. The world would have us believe that love is something that just mysteriously happens and we can’t really control whether we fall into it or fall out of it. While love may sometimes come unexpectedly, we actually do have a whole lot to do with whether we choose to love someone and whether we choose to continue to love someone after the butterflies and rainbows fade away.
The quote on the back cover really sums up what this book is all about:
“Because love is as much a verb as it is a noun, the phrase ‘I love you’ is as much a promise of behavior and commitment as it is an expression of feeling.”
It’s about making our actions match up to our “I love you’s.”
This book not only teaches us that love is more than an emotion or feeling, it shows us how it is different and how we can use that knowledge to build strong and healthy marriage relationships and family relationships. Love is a Choice is not just about romantic love, but about the kind of love we need to make lasting marriages.
Elder Robbins uses stories, personal experiences and examples from scripture to teach us how to develop virtues and qualities that will increase our love and our loving behaviors and strengthen our relationships. Qualities like forgiveness, patience and responsibility.
One of the concepts I really like is Elder Robbins’ teaching that much of our love is dependent upon our taking responsibility for our actions and for our part in the relationship. Rather than focusing on what our spouse does that drives us crazy or what our children do that just make us want to tear our hair out, if we choose to focus on strengthening our own weaknesses and on doing the things we know we need to do, we will learn to not focus on the perceived shortcomings of others and to look for the good. He reminds us that there is greater power in giving than in getting.
Again the book doesn’t just focus on marriage relationships, but also our relationship with our children. He emphasizes the importance of remembering that our children are also children of God, just as we are. When they are racing around your life creating havoc, flushing the dog down the toilet or redecorating the kitchen with permanent marker, it can be hard to remember this—but that’s probably when we need to remember it the most. Elder Robbins says, “Inappropriate behavior should not define a child’s character – treat the behavior as temporary, as an act and not an identity.” If we can remember that in our heated moments, it will be a relationship changer for both us and them.
One of my favorite parts of the book is actually the appendix of Christlike virtues. This list includes 100 virtues (I have a LOT to work on), provides scriptural references and synonyms and antonyms that help to define each virtue.
Whether you’re just starting out in a relationship or you’re an “old married couple” this book can help you get more out of your relationship.
About the Author
Lynn G. Robbins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was sustained to the Presidency of the Seventy on April 5, 2014. He became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000. Prior to that, he was a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy for three years. Elder Robbins served a full-time mission in Argentina and later served as president of the Uruguay Montevideo Mission.
Elder Robbins received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management. He was one of the founders of Franklin Quest (later Franklin Covey). Elder Robbins and his wife, Jan, are the parents of seven children and eighteen grandchildren.
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