I used to think of Valentine’s Day as another Hallmark holiday. Shouldn’t love be expressed all year, not just on one sought out day? Yesterday, as my children grinned with delight over making valentines for their family, I realized how special it is to have moments set aside like this. Yes, I think we can do this on other days during the year, and we do, but being purposeful about showing love on this day is fine, too.
So, what is love? How do we express it? For my oldest, love is spending time with her, admiring her craftiness and art, snapping green beans together, reading, talking, shopping, cooking… For my son, love is praising him for a job well done, making him something special just for him, hugging and snuggling with him, telling him a story, reading to him… For my 2-year-old, love is smiling at her, helping her, playing with her, reading to her… For my 1-year-old, love is taking care of her, feeding her, holding her, playing with her… For my husband, love is touch, affirmation, respect, praise… So, love changes, but it is a choice. It’s being purposeful to give it in a way specific for each person. It’s focusing on showing them Jesus in how you respond to them.
I’ve had to learn through the years that it’s received differently for every person and that it is a choice to be made. I don’t love because I feel loved. I love because my Savior loved me and calls me to love others.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.“ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV