Love. The topic of the season here in the US as we approach a national day of recognition called Valentine's Day. Did you know this holiday, as we know it today, was established in the 14th century? According to www.britannica.com...
The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.
Interesting how the celebration changed through the centuries. Once a festival of fertility and pairing of couples, turned focus to romancing your sweetheart.
Dictionary.com defines love this way:
- an intense feeling of deep affection. "babies fill parents with feelings of love"
- a great interest and pleasure in something. "his love for football"
- feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone). "do you love me?"
The scriptures have another way to define love and can be seen in 1 John 4:12 where the prophet John explains love this way:
No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.
While love can be a feeling, it is more importantly an action demonstrated through our interactions with one another. Every single day, we have the opportunity in our actions, our words, and our behaviors to demonstrate the love of God towards every other human being we are blessed to touch that day.
This includes our sweetheart, but it also includes the drive-thru crew, the gas station attendant, and even the person who cuts us off in traffic! It’s easy to be kind and show love when everything is going our way, but when things get challenging (i.e., you’re stuck in the drive-thru and your lunch hour just ended), it’s important to check our hearts and consider how we demonstrate love in those situations.
Some days it can be a challenge to demonstrate love even with those we love the most.
- When your spouse does that thing that annoys you to the moon and you don’t understand why they can’t seem to change this behavior to meet your expectations.
- When your child takes you for granted by pushing aside the meal you just spent an hour preparing.
- Or, when your parent explains how the path you are taking in life is not how they did it and you will not be successful if you don’t get on their version of the right path.
Have you faced similar situations?
Most might reply… “On a daily basis!”
Living Scripture Strong is the essence of this verse. It’s one of the cornerstones of serving others and, as we like to say it, living Jesus!
Living Scripture Strong does not mean just memorizing a bunch of scriptures and then spewing them at people when you feel they aren’t living up to your definitions.
Living Scripture Strong means showing God’s love in every situation, in every circumstance even when, and especially, when you don’t believe the person deserves it. Demonstrating love in difficult situations removes pride and introduces patience.
Think about the example given earlier where a parent is chastising a child for the path they are taking because it’s different than their own. That is, in my humble opinion, pride in its finest moment. Pride in what the parent has accomplished and the path they blazed in life meeting their own definition of success.
As the parent of three adult-ish children (23, 21 and 18 years old now), it is tough to bite your tongue when you see your child taking a path where you have a life experience that ended negatively. But, instead of letting pride rule the interaction, it’s more important to show them love by listening with patience and understanding. And, in doing this, God’s love is made complete through us.
Today is a new day and you have the opportunity to love not only your sweetheart or those closest to you, but to show love to everyone you meet through your actions in EVERY aspect of your life. Serve one another today by Living Scripture Strong. Show someone love today by sending them the gift of the Word, shop our scripture blankets here.