At the Heart of Love
With Valentines’ Day right around the corner, we have been bombarded with advertisements about dinners, jewelry, and flowers each proclaiming to be best way to show someone how much you love them. V-Day, a holiday centered around relationships involving romantic love, many times sparks negative feelings for those of us without a significant other. Nearly all of my single girlfriends boycott the day when it rolls around, mainly as a defense mechanism to prevent themselves from feeling left out or alone. I will admit, I have been one of those cynical individuals in years past, but this year I have a completely different outlook.
Being “in love” or having a significant other is merely one way to give/receive love. Take a look at the word love in the glossary of your Bible. It is one of the most frequently used words in the Bible, and I assure you nearly none of references are about romantic love. The greatest of all relationships of love that we can experience is that between ourselves and God. No human being on this earth will ever be able to love us like God does. Psalm 100:5 tells us, “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Unlike God, we fail each other from time to time, even the people we love the most. So at the end of the day, the only love that really matters and that will ever make you feel truly complete is God’s love.
Undoubtedly, the most well-known scripture speaking about love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13. At nearly every wedding I have ever intended I’ve heard these words recited, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).” These incredible words of wisdom spoken by the Apostle Paul are applicable for all relationships and should be used as the universal standard for which we treat all human beings, and not only in the context of romantic love relationships.
I in no way seek to downplay or discount the importance of honoring romantic relationships with this discussion. However, romantic love often stands in the spotlight, and at times can overshadow what I believe to be the true heart of love. In the worldly view, love equates a feeling that we have for others, such as for our significant others, family, and friends, but the bible teaches it as a way of being. The words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 speak about love not as a feeling, but as a way to act towards others to be patient, kind, forgiving etc. Furthermore in 1 Corinthians 14:1 Paul says, “Let love be your highest goal!” While yes, we love our spouses, children, parents, siblings etc., love is SO much more.
In concluding this post, I hope you will take with you two points. The first being that no matter who you are, where you are or how you feel, you are never alone or without love. Everyday we receive the best love of all, God’s love. Secondly, look at love as more than simply a feeling, but as the ultimate goal for daily living. The closer we are to emanating love, the closer we are to God and that is the best place to be!