Ah, love. It’s in the air, isn’t it? After all, it is Valentine’s Day. I purposed to spend the day with the Lord because He is the Lover of my Soul, so here I am, all dressed up and enjoying the peace and quiet of my house. My kids got snowed in at their dad’s house … what a gift! I got snow and alone time for Valentine’s Day! Can a man out-do God?!
I opened my Bible to pick up where I left off yesterday and found myself right there at 1 Corinthians 13. How appropriate, right? I read through it and realized, as Michael Bolton famously crooned, “You ain’t got nothing if you ain’t got love.”
Paul presents so many ways we serve God and serve others:
- Speaking in tongues
- Interpreting mysteries
- Sharing our wisdom
- Having immense faith
- Giving to the poor
But he said that if we do all of this without love, it’s nothing. It’s annoying. It’s fruitless.
On a day where I’m loving my dog, loving my outfit and loving the fact that I am having cake and strawberries for dinner without kids, I begin to wonder if I really understand love. Because I feel like I’m full of it, but what does the Bible say?
“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” (13:4-8).
A few years ago, I created a poster with this and hung it in the dining room, only I left out the word “love” and left a blank where we all filled in our names. It created a fruitful challenge in our homes, because there in a place of prominence was the character of Christ we were trying to live up to staring at us in our weakest moments, bidding us to choose love. I loved that thing! In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I might spend some time today creating another one.
Back on track: Paul went on the say that all of these things we do for God unto others will pass away. Will cease. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (13:13)
When all else is gone, love remains. Want to leave something lasting of your life? Love. Want to make your mark or leave a legacy? Love. As Paul says further along, “Do all things in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).
On a similar vein, it occurred to me that this is why love is such a target for the enemy. If Satan can destroy our love, he has rendered us completely ineffective in ministry, in our families. In life. Fight the good fight! Protect your heart! Put on your armor and protect the best weapon God has given you!