What’s is love? Is it candy hearts, chocolates, a valentine card, and romantic candle light dinners? Why do we highlight love and romance at this time of year? Valentine’s Day gets its name from St. Valentine, who performed Christian weddings against Roman Emperor Claudius II’s ruling. His support for Christian marriages and preaching Jesus Christ threw him in jail and eventually cost him his life. The story goes that the last words he wrote were to the jailer’s daughter which ended with “from your Valentine.” We all have many ideas of love and being loved, but in 1 John 4:8 it says, “God is love!” So let’s ask the creator of the heavens and earth what love is. In John 15:12-13 Jesus says “This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” For me this means love is not a feeling, but a choice. God leaves it up to us to choose whether or not we love one another.
Love is choosing to do what is right for your loved ones and to stand in that love when times get tough. Love is a perfect discipline to me, in other words, love grows out of the normal style. Love isn’t all about your desires and feelings, it’s choosing what is right for all, no matter the cost! I believe true love can only be found when you find Jesus Christ. He is a perfect example of laying down His life, and His kingship, not only to walk with mankind but to pay the price for our sins, all in hopes that we will receive Him into our lives. I believe God is the creator and thus He created wisdom, knowledge, joy, happiness, peace, love, and so many other things! So to me, to truly love someone the way God intend them to be loved, is to know God. We love because God loved us first and he is showing us how to love the right way. God shows us that when we truly love someone we do our best to treat them right, and He shows us how to treat others with love, especially when we don’t want to! When we put God first in every area of our life, love will overcome selfishness and every evil work. When I chose God, I chose love. I chose to love myself, and then I found a love for my wife, my children, and for all those around me. Because I chose God He showed me a love that I’ve never known before. God’s love is unselfish, pure, clean and unconditional, with absolutely no strings attached. He gave me a new heart and for the first time I felt able and capable to truly love. I believe if we put Jesus Christ first in our hearts, He will teach us how to truly love our spouse, our family, and our world. Within this journey of loving others you will learn the gospel of Jesus and share it with others hoping that they will truly live and love. It will cost us everything that we are, but at the end of our self, is when we will began to truly understand love!
The writer is a husband, father, preacher, writer, artist, musician and songwriter. Ben and his wife, Missy, reside with their three sons in St. Marys.