It’s Valentine’s Day. The day we celebrate love.
Love, love, love. It’s everywhere today. Hearts and flowers. Big red heart-shaped candy boxes.
Yes, there will be gifts galore. Jewelry, chocolates, red roses, stuffed animals, heart-laden cards, and fancy dinners.
Who doesn’t love love and all it brings? Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day?
I’ll tell you who. Those who feel unloved, that’s who. Those who are lonely on this day and every day. Those who have lost their loved ones. Those who are burdened.
Valentine’s Day always brings romantic love to mind, but really it should be a day that we demonstrate love. Period. Love to everyone. Kind of like that old 60’s song, “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.”
“Think of your fellow man; lend him a helping hand,
Put a little love in your heart.
You see it’s getting late; oh, please don’t hesitate
Put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place; and the world will be a better place
For you and me. You just wait and see.”
I recall how my daughters disliked Valentine’s Day before they met their beloved ones. Their friends with boyfriends reveled in valentine wishes, balloons, and gifts and my girls couldn’t wait for the day to end. They certainly weren’t unloved because we loved them dearly, but romantic love seemed to rule the day, and it still does.
My beloved, my husband of 35 years, and I ceased bestowing valentines on each other years ago. Neither one of us requires a gift to prove love for each other. To us, the gift of spending time together means much more.
So there won’t be hearts and flowers or even chocolate candy dispensed at our house…well, there might be some chocolates pulled out of the kitchen pantry to share. But love means much more than candy.
I read a newspaper article (yes, I’m a dinosaur who still reads my news in print form) this week about reaching out, especially on this day, to the unloved, the lonely, and those who’ve lost their beloved ones. It made me think. What if we did put a little love in our hearts by serving others? You know, take that love and spread it around to our fellow humans….put a little love in someone else’s heart?
There’s an old saying that love isn’t love until you give it away.
So what if instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, we shared our love by donating money to a worthy cause in our loved one’s name? What if we called that friend who’s feeling lost, lonely, or unloved today and told her/him how much we care?
We can hand over gifts or donate to charity, but if we do so without love, it means nothing. We really have to have love in our hearts!
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Verses 4-8 tells us, “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.”
When I teach young people about relationships, I tell them that love is an action word. And the best way to test whether you practice love for another is to insert your name in place of the word ‘love’ in that passage of scripture.
So if I truly have love in my heart, I should be able to say, “Cindy [my name, but you can insert yours] is patient, Cindy [your name] is kind. Cindy does not envy, Cindy does not boast, Cindy is not proud. Cindy does not dishonor others, Cindy is not self-seeking, Cindy is not easily angered, Cindy keeps no record of wrongs. Cindy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Cindy always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
And when I do all of that, put love in my heart and spur it into action, I can truly say “Love never fails.”
It’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. I’m writing it on my heart that today is the best day of the year because I love and am loved, but even more than that, I can put a little love in the heart of someone else.
May you love and be loved this day and be encouraged to put love into action.