This week we celebrate one of the greatest capabilities that we have as humans – the capability to love and be loved.
Love is entwined in our lives in such a way that we cannot escape it. Love is powerful and precious. It is no wonder that many of our life’s celebrations revolve around love.
The Bible has a clear definition of love. In I Corinthians 13:4-8a, the Bible says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.”
All too often, we make the mistake of using God’s meaning of love to hold others hostage. We tell our loved ones that if they really love us, then they would say or act like this. God’s intention of defining love is not for us to keep score on how loving others are to us or to hold others accountable for that, rather it is an instruction of how we, personally, should behave. God’s love is perfect – ours is not. So we must be mindful in how we demonstrate our love for others. If you use God’s definition of love as your standard of loving others, particularly your spouse, then you will find that the closer you get to God’s perfect love (and remember that you will never actually get to perfect), the less you are concerned about how others are loving you. You will be more focused on the selfless rather than the selfish. So show your love for your spouse on this Valentine’s Day in a selfless, tangible way.