Usually I do a Valentine’s blog before Valentine’s Day, but this year I am doing something a little different. I talked to one of my daughters and she was upset her husband had once again ignored the fact that it was Valentine’s Day. When I shared with her she was not alone and her two sisters had not gotten anything either she felt better. In fact her dad didn’t go out of his way either, although the guy did take me out to eat and we shared the meal with some really good friends. That got me to thinking. I began to wonder how many others had let Valentine’s Day slip by. How many other men and women were feeling much like my daughters?
My response to her was, “You know love is about more than a one day event. It’s more about how you treat each other the other 364 days of the year.” I am glad I guess that they have a day to celebrate love, but that’s not what it is all about. I think it would be pretty sad if we only showed our love one day of the year instead of all year long. Think about how sad it would be to hear, “I love you” only one day out of the whole year. Or how sad would it be just to receive flowers or gifts just one day?
I have been married forty years. I can’t tell you the number of times I have received things for Valentine’s Day and the number of times I haven’t; yet our love is still going strong. When we did marriage counseling the minister that married us told us it was important to say to each other, “I love you” everyday at some point in the day; even if you are mad at each other. We have maintained that.
I think it’s sad that we put so much value on the one day, but then I have to remember this is the world’s view of love and not God’s. The world’s view of love is all about Eros. It’s all about pleasure and what we can get out of it and how it makes us feel.
God’s word for love is agape. Agape means loving someone with no strings attached; loving someone just because they are created by God and for God. If we want to know what love is really all about read the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
In ordinary everyday terms love for me is not found in one day sentiments. Love for me is putting His clothes away without arguing about it even though you know he could do it. Love is found in making his coffee every morning even when you don’t drink it. He came home recently and had shared his coffee with a few others. They really thought it was good coffee. Sharing those words is his way of saying thanks; I’ll take it. Love is doing the same things day in and day out for the same person and still finding joy in doing it. I get tired of making his lunch to take to work every evening, but then I stop and think of my friends who are alone either through death or their own choosing and I realize how blessed I am to be able to do this.
Love is doing simple things for someone everyday of the year not just one day of the year. While on earth Jesus spent three years showing His love for those He was with. He truly loved His Disciples. He truly loved those who He taught and healed. He showed us what love is all about as He walked this earth, taught, preached and performed miracles. The miracle in my own life is picking up after my husband, making meals, doing the wash and all the other things for forty years and still loving him as much if not more than I did the day I married him.
Love is seeing how he treats me. He is big, burly and gruff to some, but I see the softer side. I see the side that cares when I hurt, I see the side that lends a hand when I need it, I see the side that says, “I love you every morning, have a good day.” That’s what love is all about; it’s not in the Eros part of love, but the agape part.
The world may say we need to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, but I am saying, “why not celebrate it every day of the year in those ordinary every day moments?”
The world tells us it’s all about Eros, but God tells us it’s all about agape; loving someone with no strings attached and not expecting anything in return. When we love not expecting anything I have found out it returns to us in so many ways and the blessings are beyond anything we can imagine.
The world tells us it’s all about lovers. I agree to that. It’s about being lovers of people; people from all walks of life, every color and every nation. While walking this earth and loving, Jesus did not discriminate. He loved everyone. While others were discriminating against the Samaritans Jesus sat and talked with one and shared His living water with her. While women were discriminating against this woman Jesus chose to have a conversation with her. While putting people with Leprosy outside of town and away from everyone Jesus sought them out and healed them. Lovers of people; that’s what we are to be about and that’s what Jesus has called us to do.
The greatest love act didn’t come in one day it took three days and lasted a lifetime. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 He died for each of us just because He loved us that much. But death could not hold Him. He arose so in death there is victory. He arose so He could go and prepare a place for us. The kind of love Jesus has shown toward us didn’t last a day, or three it has lasted a lifetime. That’s what real love is.
Love is not found in a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, or wordy sentiments found in a card. Love is found in the everyday mundane tasks of living. Love is celebrated every day of the year with the love Jesus shares with us and taught us to share with others. We eat the candy and it goes to our hips, eventually flowers die, and eventually cards get thrown out, but the love we have for one another can last a life time if we love not as the world wants us to love, but as God wants us to love.
Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day every day. Let’s love the way God wants us to and let’s watch for those little miracles we see every day as we live life and reach out to those around us.
Dear Lord, I am thankful that my love isn’t found in a one day thing, but has become a way of life for me. Thank you for being a perfect example of how we should love those who we come in contact with. You didn’t discriminate so why should I? Thank you for the miracle of loving someone for so long and for those mundane tasks that often irritate me. You have taught me about agape love, may I share that love with others. In all these things I am thankful Amen.