Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.
Earlier this evening I confessed to a friend that I had forgotten that today was the day where too many guys will get tons of grief from their "significant other" because they, too, forgot the day. My friend, a young lady who recently got engaged, asked if if my wife and I even celebrate the day. I told her we did, after a fashion. I told her that I recently heard someone on the radio mention that today was when many girls and women receive stuff out of obligation. I asked, "what's the romance in that?"
Love should never be restricted to a single day of the year (or two, if you also include the mysterious "Sweetest Day" in the fall). True love is even more than a lifestyle. True love is something that's so much a part of you that it just won't let go.
What is this true love? 1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible describes it. The NIV renders it thusly:
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When 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. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I know of nobody on this planet who lives up to that definition. I certainly don't. this past week showed me that I'm a far way off from that kind of love. That kind of unconditional perfect love comes from only one source: God!
This Valentine's Day, and every day, Consider This: God sets the example and empowers us to love. Instead of obligating or being obligated just because it's a particular calendar day, simply show and live love!