Love, by Becky Hunter

Becky Hunter

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, and it doesn’t have a swelled head. It doesn’t force itself on others and isn’t always “me first!” Love doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel. Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, and puts up with anything. Love trusts God always and always looks for the best. It never looks back, but keeps going to the end. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)

I overheard some women talking, over a lunch, the other day about how they dread Valentine’s Day. They were complaining about the ways the men they “love” would fail to wow them, the commercialism and hype around this “fake holiday,” and they were irritated that a co-worker’s husband was going all out to surprise her with a Valentine’s weekend away because “no one is doing that for me!” Focused solely on the blessings they believed they deserved, it didn’t seem to cross any of these ladies’ minds that they could be a blessing to someone else. That made me sad for them.

Valentine’s Day, at its best, reminds us that we can be the bearers of the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. The holiday is even named after a man who literally died because he dedicated his life to loving others in Jesus name. It’s true; Valentine was a Christian martyr! I’m not recommending martyrdom, but what if this year, rather than hoping for flowers from someone, we look for someone to bless with flowers. Maybe this is the year that we skip comparing what we receive to what others receive and instead celebrate when anyone is treated to something special. What if this year, we don’t zero in on where someone falls short of our relationship expectations, but instead focus on the blessings that our relationships do have to offer. Love like that is possible only out of the overflow of our love for Jesus. And like St. Valentine, once we tap into Jesus’ love we will find the kind of love that “never looks back, but keeps going to the end.”