“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you; Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
It’s love day, Valentine’s Day, hearts and flowers, chocolate and cards day. People will spend too much money on things that will cost less tomorrow to prove the depth of their love today.
Is that what love looks like? Candy? Cards? Dinner? Flowers? I guess those can be symbols of love sometimes. Real love however, doesn’t usually look like cards and flowers.
Our example of real love comes from Jesus. It isn’t covered in glitter or chocolate. It doesn’t come in a pretty vase or at a candle lit table. While all of those things are beautiful and can touch our hearts, they aren’t love Jesus style.
Turning the other cheek, ignoring the insult, praying for the offender, helping a person whose beliefs are in complete opposition to our own and whose life view turns our stomachs, that is what Jesus love looks like.
Jesus love is covered in hurt feelings, unrealized expectations, mud, tears and blood. It’s persevering in the face of rejection. It is giving when there is no hope of reciprocation. It is selfless and unending.
Today I fully expect to receive a card from my husband. I have one for him too. We aren’t huge Valentine people but most years we remember to give each other cards. That’s sweet but yesterday my husband did a household chore that I hate! The card will undoubtedly be lovely and say something flattering. That’s nice and I will absolutely appreciate it but not nearly as much as I appreciated his efforts yesterday.
Give big flowery cards, give chocolates, have fun today but love, really love, every day. Love when it hurts and is inconvenient. Love when you’d rather sneer, when the object of that love just makes you want to scream. Love when it takes everything in you not to walk away. Love, sometimes, by walking away, ignoring or turning the other cheek. Love as your heavenly Father loves you.
Happy Valentine’s Day.