I thought I would be super cliché and blog about love on Valentine’s Day. Not because it’s my favorite holiday…because it’s not. Or because I had a particularly awesome Valentine’s day today…because I didn’t. Valentine’s Day is both loved and loathed for the all the wrong reasons. I have had great valentines—like the time my ex-husband and I were broke so we arranged a contest for whichever of us could buy the most creative gift for under $30. Of course, I won…remote control helicopter. It was so much fun! Or the Valentine’s dinner a friend in college planned for all of her single friends to celebrate good times and great memories--who knew this was the start of an absolutely amazing friendship. But I have had equally horrible Valentine’s…like the year a secret admirer left a beautiful purple rose on my car. Romantic, right? Romantic only up to the point I realized, although my admirer was single, his ex-girlfriend was 9 months pregnant with his child. Romance, I think not. Or the time my boyfriend sent me a gorgeous flower arrangement since he was out of town. Out of town with another girl. Yes, I have spent many February 14ths both loving and hating the holiday. But this year…the day came after a week thinking about how people treat each other. Rather, how people mistreat others.
The day is about love. Some people love this…and some people hate this. But I think the holiday is misunderstood because we so infrequently grasp the concept of love. In fact, I do not think we will ever truly understand unconditional love this side of heaven. So we create our own ideas of what love is or what love looks involving picture perfect romance. Romantic things like candy, wine, flowers, cute hearts, sexy lingerie, etc. help supplement for our lack of understanding love. The funny (or sad) thing is people in this world really need true love. We need to lift one another up and be sources of support and comfort rather than pain and sorrow.
Here it comes…the love bible verses! Probably the most famous passage about love comes from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4
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 wrong. 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.
Even if you aren’t a Christian or a church person, you’ve probably heard this read at a handful of weddings in your life. It is a beautiful passage but I think it is misunderstood. We use it as a guiding light in marriage …but it is actually written by Paul. Paul wasn’t married. Paul usually wrote words of encouragement to people hurting or in a state of sorrow. I think these verses are rather words to live by then a sacred vow in marriage. We should demonstrate this love to everyone…not just the person we “love”. In our friendships, we need to use our words and actions to lift each other up. In our day-to-day interactions with strangers, we need to walk in footsteps of love. And most especially with our enemies…we need to demonstrate a loving attitude and maintain our own love integrity. This passage is about unconditional love. And although no one truly deserves this, we all really need it.
So on this day established by our good friends at Hallmark as a day of love, we probably should remember the importance of demonstrating love. And this is best accomplished without a single rose, chocolate, or greeting card. This is demonstrated through action. And action is really what love is all about.
Roses, chocolate and action,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.