Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I love it. I always have. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I made my first poster-board Valentine card holder in grade school. I loved being courted by Brian and showered with Valentines in college. And, as a mom, I loved helping Dan and Bob write their names on preschool super-hero Valentines.
Is it a fake holiday? Am I a romantic? Probably “yes” to both. But, I’ve purchased cards and gifts, and I’ll enjoy distributing them. And, I’ll save the ones I receive.
However, the best Valentine I can give to the people I love is to look inward and have a “spiritual EKG”. I need to take a moment and determine if my day to day demonstration of love aligns with God’s definition of love.
In 1 Corinthians 13, God tells us what love should look like:
Patient: Love bears with other’s shortcomings, weaknesses, and failures. Love waits for the right moment, it stays calm and perseveres.
Kind: Love is friendly, careful, and meets other’s needs without having to be asked. Love bends over backward to be nice, it is courteous.
Love is not…
Self-seeking: selfishly pursuing what is gratifying to me, or putting my personal desires, focus and needs above others.
Easily angered: becoming intensely displeasured or exasperated without much difficulty; it doesn’t have a short fuse and lean toward a lit match.
Proud: haughty or arrogant, with an exaggerated self-esteem or feeling of superiority.
Love does not…
Envy: discontent with what I have, resenting what another has, wanting what I don’t have.
Boast: focus on my achievements or possessions, lift myself up even at the expense of putting someone else down.
Dishonor others: bring shame or disgrace upon others through disrespect, slander, or maligning their reputation.
Delight in evil: enjoy my own wickedness or find great pleasure when others fall victim to wickedness.
Keep a record of wrongs: maintain a list of unjust treatment, collected and preserved, so as not to be forgotten, refuse to forgive, and continue to recall mistakes, errors, hurts, inequalities and injustices.
Rejoices with the truth: Love fills the heart with joy, and is ready to celebrate facts, reality, sincerity, fidelity, integrity and honesty. Love celebrates what is right.
Protects: Love guards or keeps from harm. Love never deliberately hurts another but shields them from hurt.
Trusts: Love believes, has faith and confidence in others. Love gives the benefit of the doubt.
Hopes: Love is not wishful thinking, but confidence. Loves look forward with confidence to the fulfillment of God’s Word.
Perseveres: Love persists, it never gives up, ever.
Love never fails: no way, not at all, not ever, on no occasion will love prove deficient or inadequate. Love will always succeed.
God tells us in 1 John 4:16 that He is love. Because God is love, He can define love, and He can command that we love one another in the way that He defines it. Sometimes I love well. Other times, I don’t. God always does.
Is your heart prepared for Valentine’s Day? Are you? Are those you love? Will you be showering those you love with true Godly love this Valentine’s Day?