This Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air! Approximately one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year (second only to the amount of Christmas cards sent). Legend has it that Saint Valentine, while serving in third-century Rome, performed the weddings of young soldiers. This did not sit well with the Emperor, who insisted that his soldiers remain single. Valentine was sent to prison. Match.com would be proud.
About 200 years earlier the apostle Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 13 offers perhaps the greatest words on the subject of love we have ever seen. Here’s a sample:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (vv. 4-7)
I’ll take that over a Hallmark card any day of the week and twice on Saturday!
Of course, Paul’s prime example of love was none other than Jesus Christ. Our Lord perfectly understood love, and loved perfectly. True love steps in when everyone else is stepping out. True love seeks solutions when everything else says the situation is hopeless. True love remains steady when everything else has shaken loose.
As Jesus showed the world first-hand, true love requires sacrifice of self. This points toward agape love. Agape is the highest expression of the Holy Spirit, and is the type of love God commands us, as Christians, to exemplify. This is not the kind of love used to describe how we feel about a car, a football team, or peanut butter. No, agape is the “most excellent way” to which Paul refers.
Do you love your child? Parent? Brother? Sister? If so, then you only begin to comprehend the level of love God has for you.
Put simply, God is love. On this Valentine’s Day ask yourself this question: Do I truly love those who God loves?
In His Name,