Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re anything like me, this occasion invariably involves a last minute scramble to fulfill my husbandly duties. Buying flowers at inflated prices, organising baby sitters, booking dinner at a nice restaurant and trying to make the whole thing a surprise, which it usually isn’t! I have to confess I am naturally a bit of a romantic but even for someone like me, the whole Valentine’s Day experience can feel a bit forced. Does reminding someone that you love them have to be so stressful and expensive?
The Bible talks about love a lot. One of the most famous references is found in 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG).
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
When I think about love and read the description in 1 Corinthians it seems very clear that although love involves strong feelings it requires even stronger action. When I first met Janine I was completely head over heels for her, absolutely smitten but she didn’t feel the same way. She was not convinced that I was the ‘one’. Janine says although I was ruggedly handsome 😉 it wasn’t my good looks that won her. What won her over was a conversation we had.
That conversation involved a confession of my love for her but more significant was my commitment to love her, no matter what circumstance came our way. I promised that I would love her, care for her and protect her no matter what. That’s what spoke the loudest to my now wife, of 17 years.
The word love is easily and regularly bandied around, I love the dog, I love my car, and I love my work. But I think its much more than that. Real love is a lasting commitment, it’s an unconditional promise and it’s the ultimate sacrifice.
What does love mean to you?