Valentine’s Day is approaching, and it is easy to hyper-focus onto romantic love at this time of year. Do we have it? Do we not? We celebrate with single girlfriends or romantic partners, or we hide at home avoiding the day.
This is so much smaller than God’s view of love.
Consider these verses from the letter of 1 John:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.1 John 4:7-12
God calls us – very directly – to love one another. Not simply to love our spouse or our family. To love everyone.
Why does He require this? John tells us the answer in verse 11 – we love others because God has loved us.
How does God show us his love? With action and sacrifice. He does not simply say it. He does not celebrate it once a year. He does not care about chocolates or jewelry or fancy meals. God shows us that love is action.
What does this mean for us? As we approach Valentine’s Day this year, let’s think outside the box. How can we live in love for our neighbor, our co-worker, our estranged children, our pastor, or the homeless person on the street? How can we sacrifice for them in a meaningful way?
If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.