I was highly amused by my Facebook newsfeed on Valentine’s Day and felt a few observations were in order. The newlyweds were gawking over the elements comprising romantic perfection (e.g. cards, chocolates, flowers, and special dinners). The singles were contrasting this day of love with their own life by generally either mocking the holiday, eating too much chocolate, or encouraging others with God’s love.
And then a select few posed an entirely different perspective. “Why should demonstrations of love be reserved for just one day of the year?” they asked.
This question puzzled me. As a sincere romantic, I initially thought this was disgracing the legacy of love. But thoughtful consideration has generated even deeper questions.
Have we allowed holiday traditions to dictate our expectations of love? And consequently, have we reduced love to chocolates and roses?
Isn’t the truest love to lay down our lives for another? (John 15:13) To esteem others better than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3) Authentic, Christ-saturated love is not bound by time or tangibles. It is perpetual and powerful. (1 Corinthians 13:8, Song of Solomon 8:7)
Flowers wither in time and chocolates vanish once eaten, but real love never fades. Let me be quick to say, I love both flowers (especially gerbera daisies) and chocolates (the darker the better). And I realize these can be demonstrations of love.
My concern is the subtle replacement of intangible, self-sacrificing charity with tangible perishables. One box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day will never mask the absence of genuine love on the other 364 days.
Love endures long and is patient and kind;
Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,
Love is not boastful or vainglorious,
Love does not display itself haughtily.
Love is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
Love is not rude, unmannerly, and does not act unbecomingly.
Love, God’s love in us, does not insist on its own rights or its own way,
Love is not self-seeking;
Love is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
Love takes no account of the evil done to it (pays no attention to a suffered wrong).
Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
Love’s hopes are fadeless under all circumstances
Love endures everything without weakening.
Love never fails, never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.
I want to propose a 365-Love Challenge. It is simple: each day pick one aspect of love (listed above) and intentionally demonstrate it. Take it one day at a time. Love is a marathon, not a sprint.
My desire is to be an incessant conduit of Christ-saturated love so that by next Valentine’s Day there will be a legacy of authentic love to validate gerbera daisies and dark chocolate.
Will you join me in purposefully and authentically loving those God has placed in our lives, every day for the next year? Would you take 60 seconds to send me an email so I can pray for you and encourage you along the way?
Let the 365-Love Challenge begin!