My Issue with Valentine’s Day
“I really love my new MacBook Pro! I literally don’t know what I would do without it!”
Seriously!?! Let’s go back and think through what you just said. And to be clear, adding the words “really” and “literally” do not convey a deeper sense of your fondness for your computer. Rather, it reveals the shallow and superficial nature of the world in which many of us live.
We live in a comparison culture that over values greatness…in every way. Nothing is ever good unless its better than something else. We have traded intrinsic worth for a competitive, comparative system where we must not only be better than but must also prove it. This has led to the misuse and devaluing of words to the point that many of them no longer have any significant meaning.
In my mind, one of the most important and often misused words in the English language is “love.” “I love my house.I love my car. I love my job. I love ice cream and popcorn.” If your like me, trying to fight for words to still have meaning, statements like those make you cringe.
This is the time of year when our culture tries to show us what love is and teach us how to express it to those we care most about. On some level, I can appreciate this emphasis. However, as the world tries to show us what love is, we begin to clearly see the lack of true understanding of love.
The month leading up to February fourteenth seems to have been turned into a national monument dedicated to the destruction of the true meaning of the word “love.” I am certain that Saint Valentine is literally turning over in his actual grave at this exact moment.
All it takes is a casual stroll through your local Walmart to see exactly what I am talking about. From the chick flicks playing in electronics to the three full aisles of candy, the lack of understanding of “love” could not be more apparent.
I suppose words such as “like, fondness, or attraction” do not express the depth of our feelings well enough. And words like “lust, selfish enabling, and mutual codependency,” though more accurate reflections of our true feelings, wouldn’t fit on those tiny heart shaped candies.
The good news for us husbands is that we have more than our culture to teach us what love is and how to walk in love towards our wives. There is a better way. There is more to love than our culture shows. Usually, we open a dictionary when we want to know what a word means. In this case, there’s a different book we need to open.
The Bible is not only the source of the true meaning of love, it is the source of true love itself.
Here we see it defined, explained and demonstrated. Here we are taught not only what love is but also how to find it and are given the power to walk in it.
-Love is about identity: 1 John 4:8 tells is that “God is love.” Love is not just something God does or has, God is love.
-Love is active: “For God so love the world that He gave…” John 3:16 teaches us that there was action motivated out of God’s love for us.
-Love is more than an emotion or passing feeling: 1 Corinthians 13 provides an eloquent and clear definition of love.
Husbands, I would especially encourage you during this season not to allow culture to define your love for your wife. Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
The Greek word translated ‘love’ in this verse is ‘agapao.’ This form of love is often referred to as unconditional love. Agapaō can be defined as a word that “expresses the ideal kind of love, that which is exercised by the will rather than emotion, not determined by the beauty or desirability of the object, but by the noble intention of the one who loves.”
The quality of love that husbands are directed to have towards their wives is not an emotion but is an action initiated by a voluntary choice. Unconditional love means fully aware of all the conditions, I make a choice to say that they do not matter relative to the value I place on the object of the love.
Husbands, we are directed to love our wives in this manner— all day, every day!
Obviously, men, we can not fully love our wives without first loving Jesus.
It is only in and through our relationship with Christ that we can learn what true love is and find the power to truly love.