the commitment to love

"The commitment to God is the commitment to love." But what is love?

I've written about love before. But I'd like to specifically focus on "If you love me you'll do what I want." Most people recognize something wrong in this crude, manipulative demand, and would never say such a thing. But several times I've been told that love means doing what someone else wants, simply because they want it, no matter what what I think about that desire.

This is a very common understanding of love. The idea is that we are to set aside our own will and take on the will of the loved one, making their desires and intentions our own. This is promoted as loving selflessness. And it may be selfless, in a way.

But is it truly loving? When the desires of the loved one are self-destructive, it soon becomes obvious that it's not loving to help them pursue those desires. Then we become aware that love is not just an interaction between two people.

Real love necessarily involves God. There cannot be any true love without God, because God is love. As we come to experience this, we discover that love is not setting aside our own will to take on the will of another person, but setting aside our will to obey God's will for the loved one, and for ourself. We take on God's desire (which may or may not coincide with the desire of either of the people involved), and God's desire is always good. For everyone involved.

This is the love we commit ourselves to, when we commit ourselves to God. If we try to "love" by taking on another person's will, we will soon find ourselves torn between pleasing that person and pleasing God. But if we commit ourselves only to the God who is love, then we can remain single-mindedly, whole-heartedly God's, and also be most available for, and dedicated to the greatest good of, those we love.

So how do I work this into my wedding vows...