Flowers, chocolates, jewelry, romantic dinners — just a few of the symbols of that are expressions of the national day of love. As enjoyable as these tokens are, unless they express God’s meaning of love, they last but for the moment. Without the substance of love rooted in the truth of the Author of love, disappointment, frustration and broken dreams can be all that remains once the calendar changes to February 15th.
Being human in a fallen world is a challenge. Being in human relationships only makes the challenge greater. Being “in love” is perhaps the most demanding, exhausting, consuming challenge of all. Love fueled by the sacrifice and commitment of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift one person can give to another. However, attempting to love without following the example of Jesus is an invitation to personal devastation.
Here is what that love looks like:
Love anticipates God will always care.
Love offers encouragement when none is expected.
Love delights in the one who is loved.
Love is secure, it does not crave attention.
Love takes refuge in humility, not in self-pity.
Love seeks the honor of the one who is loved.
Love does not demand but serves.
Love knows joy before it knows anger.
Love does not keep score.
Love is thrilled when the truth is known.
Love guards even when it hurts.
Love accepts care.
Love is always certain of God’s promises.
Love never caves.
This love is the true expression of enduring commitment that will last long after Valentine’s Day and its symbols are forgotten.
From I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.