This Sunday many people will celebrate their relationships. It is a day often marked by flowers, chocolate, cards, and romance. If we believe all the hype of the day we will be overwhelmed and overdrawn in our bank accounts. When we look at Scripture, we find that the description of love is very different.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV).
We can do all sorts of things that are seen by others as amazing, but if Love isn’t our motive, then it isn’t worth anything– it is just noise.
Many of us use the verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 at our weddings, but we seem to forget them around year four or five of the marriage. Somewhere during those years of marriage we tend to get focused on the calendar, the kids, the job, and the bills, instead of our motives.
I have watched couples self-destruct into divorce because it became more about the individual than the team. Each person decides it matters more to be first than to put the other person first. Our hearts grow cold, indifferent, and calloused and the gentleness and mercy are squeezed out of them.
Maybe this Valentine’s Day we-and this includes me- need to take time to listen to our spouses, to hear their hearts, their dreams, their hurts, and work toward re-knitting together the hearts that God has brought together in the beginning.
My prayer is that through the Holy Spirit I will be able to put my name where the word Love is in the following verses:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
May this be true of your heart, too.