1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
There are a lot of expectations for Valentine’s Day. Someone, probably a Hallmark employee, decided that February 14th would be the day to declare and demonstrate your love to that special someone. Cards, flowers, and chocolates caught on quickly and became a near requirement even for preschool children. But what gets lost in finding the perfect card or gift is the very essence of what love is and how we can best share that with those around us.
I Corinthians 13 is the famous biblical love chapter in Christian circles and beyond. It’s beautiful because it describes the kind of perfect love that God has for us and through him we are able to love our spouses, children, extended family, co-workers, and neighbors this same way. It’s an active love; a love that is more committed to that person than our own feelings at the time. Gift giving isn’t even mentioned because this love, God’s perfect love, is worth so much more than anything money could ever buy.
Sometimes a gift is a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. In any case, as either the giver or recipient, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the gift is the sum of how much we love or are loved. We can enjoy Valentine’s Day as a good excuse to spoil the ones we love and share God’s love in a special way with those who are lonely and hurting. But let’s stay focused: no material thing or sentimental card can ever replace the simple gestures of God’s love expressed every day.
Dear Lord, we ask that You would show us practical ways to demonstrate Your perfect love to others on a daily basis. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.