Dear Valentine

Dear Valentine

Today is valentines day. I’m not sure if I am supposed to wish you a happy one or not? It’s one of those “special days” that has the potential to get you into trouble. It’s not like you can say, ‘oh, I forgot,’ it’s plastered all over the place. For most people, it’s a day just like any other, except buying flowers or candies. It’s that little effort that, if forgotten, might get you into the dog house.

Valentine’s day was a fear to commemorate early church fathers named Valentine.  They have known acts of kindness and healing his jailor’s daughter. One of the Popes set the day aside for a celebration. Men, in honor of all the failed attempts to express our undying love to our spouse, let’s take a look at the more profound revelation on the subject of our day—love.

What is love anyway? The 1960’s changed how we looked at love, and it wasn’t for the better. “Free love” rocked Woodstock and rocked every home in America. We had long hair bell-bottoms and listened to ‘the devil’s music.’Offer the years hair length has changed but not the hedonism.

In the Greek, there are three words for love; erotic love, brotherly love, and selfless love.  The first is expressed between a husband and wife. The second is friendship love, and the third Is reserved for those who are, by heroic deeds ‘ are willing to give up everything to serve others, even to the point of death. Love can be confusing and complex.

The interesting point is, “Valentine is the only holiday that commemorates an attitude and not an event or personality.” Even Thanksgiving asks us to remember the Native Americans who helped the first European settlers to survive. When it comes to love, seeking God’s input would be advisable since he created humans with the capacity to love. The following passage speaks especially about how to follow Jesus’ exhibit

“Love is

patient and kind;

love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its 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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

If we loved like this every day, there wouldn’t be wars. Yet, we aren’t, and every day we create mini-wars between those we love, those we don’t, and everyone between. I would love to expound on each of these, but time and space will not permit.  What if we applied just two, “love doesn’t insist it’s own way,” and “love endures all things.”

Living in a country where people (even Christians) insist on having their way, Christians will stand out by loving others by letting them have their way. Adolescence demands its way and refuses to participate if they don’t. Sometimes insisting on your way is appropriate. The question in any situation is what is true love. If we choose to deny our desires for the sake of love, then I am living the crucified life.

Secondly, “love endures all things.” Relationships are hard, and often our friends or a family member have habits that are difficult to be around. Sometimes they are downright mean. If I love them, I need to bear their crudeness, forgetfulness, and insensitivity until the Lord changes them. I can, as a fellow heir in Christ, take them aside and correct them in Christian love. Not insisting your way is an attitude of selflessness, not permissiveness. It says that I won’t leave you behind even if you are not walking with Jesus.

There are always exceptions that could come up with as many negative reasons to love in this manner. Those reasons will always be self-serving. Instead of finding reasons we can’t be obedient, our energy would be best used to respond in love.

Today, on this Valentine’s day 2022, meditate in the 1 Corinthian passage and ask this question — Men—would my wife want flowers or a man who treats her every day like 1 Corinthian 13? Women — will my husband know that I’m not embarrassed to stand with him in public, despite the way he dresses, doesn’t shave, or tests your resolve to stay with him every day? I know which my wife would want. I’m just saying.