When February 14th approaches, we see things that speak of love everywhere. If you walk into the supermarket you are greeted with displays of pink cakes and chocolates. The flower shop is adorned with red roses. Even on the sidewalk, you can find someone selling something in the name of love.
So what is love? Many people have different definitions. If love is what happens on February 14th, then what happens on March 14th when there is no candy, flowers or jewelry? We would have a difficult time if we think that February 14th is the only definition of true love.
Love is a relationship. It is more than doing good deeds. You can give without loving but you can’t love without giving. God demonstrated true love when He gave His son to die for mankind. John 3:16 says, “For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift”. He loved so He gave. So love is giving.
Well in 1 Corinthians 13, we see that love is so much more than what we buy or say to someone. Interpersonal relationships can be difficult. Love is the oil that lubricates the engine of relationships. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says, “Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritate or quick to take offense.”
How does this impact your idea of love on February 14th? While there is giving on Valentine’s Day, the similarities end there. Love has some characteristics that are easy to identify. Love is patient. In other words, love will wait if necessary. When Jacob asked Laban for his daughter’s hand in marriage, Laban said yes but Jacob had to work seven years. Genesis 29:20 says, “So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.” Love is patient.
Gentleness is another characteristic of love. In Mark 1:40-42 we read, “A man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus, begging to be healed. If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.” That man was in crisis and Jesus was gentle with him and made a difference in his life. Love is gentle.
Love is respectful. When God spoke to Noah concerning building an ark, Noah did not ask why or complained why he had to do it. God gave him specifications for the ark and he went ahead and got started. Genesis 6:22 says, “So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.” Noah demonstrated by his life that love is respectful.
So love is more than candy, cake or jewelry. True love can be found only in God.