The New Testament tells us that Jesus wept two specific times and it mentions that He also wept for an undetermined number of times.
John 11:30-35 NASB
“Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?”They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.”
Luke 19:41-44 NASB
41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
Hebrews 5:7 NASB
“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.”
I’ve heard a good number of Christians say over the years that “love is not what you feel but what you do” and I believe that in essence, this is true, in that love doesn’t necessarily have to be felt, as an emotion, in order for it to be demonstrated. In other words, as the statement indicates, if you love God or your spouse, as examples, you don’t have to wait for love, to manifest itself as an emotion, in order to comply with what God or love for your spouse, asks you to do, you just do it. I think it would be pretty difficult for anyone to argue against this reality. But, at the same time, I also don’t think it is exclusively true. In other words, what I am saying is that our emotions can indeed be affected by love and to infer that all expressions of love excludes our emotions, is not only misleading but unbiblical. The three examples of Jesus weeping above, being case in point, not to mention, our life experience with our own emotions associated with love.
I’m not specifically sure why but I’ve always had a certain dislike for the “love is not what you feel but what you do” statement, because for me, it seems to infer that love is cold or detached and I’m not overly keen on that inference. I’ve always thought that it could be expressed a little better. I associate love with our hearts and caring and it seems to me to be an almost automatic emotional associated response, albeit at acknowledged different levels or degrees of intensity, but there still is that element of caring involved. I think that we should also be mindful that crying or weeping is only one expression of love. There can be other emotional responses to love expressed out of concern with regard to danger, distain or disapproval or even “righteous anger”, like Jesus displayed when He cleansed the Temple (Matthew 21:12-17).
I’m thinking that the rationale behind the original statement of “love is not what you feel but what you do” is that we need not place a necessity for having an accompanying feeling of love via an emotion present, in order to follow the commandments of Jesus, and as such, our response is not necessarily to be based on our emotions and as I stated at the onset, I agree with this.
I think what I would say is that “love does not necessarily have to have a manifested emotional feeling present in order to be valid or responded to, but in like manner, having a manifested emotion, associated with love, does not necessarily negate the reality of love either.”
Let me know your thoughts on this one if you have the time, I’m really looking for some constructive criticism or input.