As I woke up this morning to a thoughtful card from my wife for Valentines Day, I began to think about those folks who are not married or who do not have a “special someone” to celebrate the day with. I know that the history of this holiday is somewhat twisted with pagan ritual and folklore, but the resulting reminder of romance and love is commendable (although way too over commercialized). However, I think that there is a different message that we should be sending, not once a year, but every day. (Click HERE to read the real history of Valentine’s Day.)
Cards, chocolates, and gifts aside, without genuine love for mankind, it’s all just bells and whistles. Paul speaks so much of love in his epistles to the churches. We hear much of 1 Corinthians 13 at weddings but do we realize those principles hold true in any relationship, not just in marriage? To the Roman church he said, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:9-10)” That’s not just how we should act toward other Christians, but to everyone.
Probably my favorite verse on loving others is found in Ephesians 5:2. “Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” That kind of love is not easy to live. Let’s be honest. We struggle at times loving the people closest to us let alone then displaying it to the world around us. Yet that’s exactly what He has commissioned us to do. His offering was his life lived to reach us with the love of God. His sacrifice was his death, taking our punishment to restore our relationship with God. So, how are we offering and sacrificing for those around us whom God called us to love?
My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. (1 John 3:18)
So this Valentines Day, go ahead and buy your spouse a sentimental card and chocolate covered strawberries, but do more than that. Find a way to put love on display toward others and sacrifice for someone other than a family member. Be sincere and find a way to honor others above yourself.
1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and list our the attributes written there by Paul and define them.
2. Now rate each attribute on a scale from 1-10 on how well you display them in your life toward others. Which attribute is your strongest and why do you think that is? Which one do you have the most difficulty with and why?
3. Read Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus gives us the top two commandments that really put everything into perspective. How do the two go hand in hand? Can you have one without the other? Why or why not?
Be so busy loving God, loving others, and loving your life that you have no time for regret, worry, fear, or drama.