Sunday is Valentine’s Day, a traditional day when we express our love to those who mean the most to us: heart-shaped boxes of candy, cards, flowers and a candlelight dinner.
While Valentine’s Day isn’t found in the Bible, love is. And the Bible has some incredible things to say about love. To husbands, the Bible says, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, cleansing her by the washing of water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives” (Ephesians 5:25-28).
To wives, the Bible says, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. ... each wife is to honor her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-24, 33, The Message).
My wife and I have celebrated 52 anniversaries. I still remember how she looked on our wedding day; a 19-year-old bride in a beautiful lace wedding dress. I can still see the tear in her eye when her wedding veil was removed. For more than half a century, we’ve learned to love each other.
Of course, love is far greater than romance. According to recent studies, only 52 percent of the U.S. population 18 and older is married. Almost half of the U.S. adult population is single, including widows, widowers, those never married and those who are divorced. Regardless of our marital status, everyone needs to love and be loved.
The Apostle Paul gave us the best definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. He wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails,” (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
When God sent his valentine, it came in the shape of a cross and cost him the life of his Son. “By this the love of God was revealed in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we may live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” (1 John 4:9-11).