Valentine’s Day is upon us and we are implored daily to buy flowers, candy, and jewelry to declare our love for our beloved ones. Children give each other paper valentines with pictures of hearts and cute sentiments. Teenagers are giddy with excitement over first dates and first loves. Love is in the air!
What is love? It’s one of those things we just know when we see it. The American Heritage Dictionary defines love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Do you remember your first love, the exhilaration you felt just being near him or her, the whispered secrets, and the pledges of devotion? The innocence of first love is not something we forget. However, as life goes on, that childlike innocence about love fades away and is replaced by the grown-up version.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
–1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV
The adult version of love is different from that singularly focused love of our youth. Our love has expanded. We may have a spouse to love, children to love, and we love our parents and siblings with a greater understanding of the challenges of raising a family. We have a better understanding of the different opportunities we have to share our love with others.
“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. Love never fails.”
–1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
There is another kind of love that is the highest form of love we can offer one another. It is agape love, the love that God has for us. Agape is a never-ending flow of unselfish love that is always true to the description in the verse above. God loves us so much that He gave His son to pay for our sins and He continues to love us wherever we are.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
–John 3:16 NIV
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
–1 John 4:16 ESV
This Valentine’s season, remember, no matter where you are in love, let God stir your heart. He’s always there to keep you moving on the journey. Keep your heart open so you can work with Him and allow Him to work through you. When we love God first, we can love others unconditionally as God loves us.
Enjoy your day!
**If you sincerely feel your heart wanting a more intimate relationship with God, pray this prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I do believe You are the son of God and You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. Please come into my life, forgive my sin, and make me a member of Your family. I now turn from going my own way. I want You to be the center of my life. Thank You for Your gift of eternal life and Your Holy Spirit, who has now come to live in me. I ask this in Your name. Amen.