My earliest memories of Valentine’s Day revolved around school. We would make construction paper mailboxes covered with pink and red hearts that always fell off because the glue sticks were always dried out by the time we got to February. I always enjoyed exchanging store bought valentines with my school friends and eating the white conversation hearts because they were my favorite flavor of chalky goodness.
Fast forward to Junior High. Our school had some sort of fundraiser where you could have a Candy-gram delivered to your best friend or your secret crush. It mostly just promoted feeling bad when you didn’t get one, which of course made those awkward Junior High years even more awkward. Granted, some people really love the holiday. But for most of us, it’s always kind of a funny kind of day. Sometimes, it’s wondering if we’re loved and by whom. Then it’s wondering how much we’re loved, which is always measured by tangible and often pink or red gifts.
In all reality, whether you like the day or not, Love is probably the greatest thing that we could ever celebrate. But I don’t think that it was ever meant to be only about flowers, cards, stuffed animals and chocolates.
I Corinthians 13 talks about love. Love that I think we all, deep down desire. Love that is patient and kind. Love that doesn’t envy or boast. Love that is humble. Love that puts other first. Love that is not easily angered or that keeps no record of wrongs. Love that rejoices in truth. Love that trusts, hopes, protects and perseveres. And finally, love that never fails.
In comparison, giving chocolates is easy. But love? Real love? That’s hard. Putting others first? Being humble? Throwing away that record book? That is the kind of love that God shows us and the kind of love that God wants us to show others. It’s the kind of love that lasts way longer than roses or a box of chocolates.
Today, I hope that you enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the gifts and the cards. But more so, know that love is way more than gifts. Know first that you are loved, because God loves you. With the love that he describes in 1 Corinthians. But also know that it’s that love that others truly need. We can give our gifts, but most importantly, let’s give our hearts. Let’s love others, the way that God loves us and really give gifts of love that will last this year.
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