Love Is …

Love Is
My husband’s 2016 Valentine’s Day card…shhhhhhh

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  I John 4:16 NIV

Valentine’s Day conjures many thoughts and words:

  • Romance
  • Roses
  • Hearts
  • Chocolate
  • Cupid—the chubby, winged little boy who shoots his arrow and injects a dose of uncontrollable love and desire into our loved one’s heart

While many words come to mind at the mention of the famous February 14 celebration, perhaps the word most associated with Valentine’s Day is love.

For me, a sweet memory comes from the daily newspaper Love Is . . . cartoon strip from the 1960s-70s. In the cartoon, a tastefully drawn, naked boy and girl share their love sentiments for each other.

Human Love

When I was 20-years-old and newly engaged, I cut out Love Is cartoons and gave them to my fiancé so that we could commemorate our romance. It made my heart feel all mushy and gooey. Our love was heartfelt, but it was also immature and inexperienced.

Now after 39 years of marriage, here is my version of love:

Love is … something that survives and thrives through good times, hard times, and hardest times.

Love is … something that you think you feel for someone, but is not fathomed until you nurture it for many years.

Love is … something that you think is currently at its pinnacle, but isn’t because it grows deeper and more cherished each day.

God’s Love

There is a deeper and richer love available that’s beyond human perspective: God’s perfect love.

His love offered:

Love is … God. He loved us first.

Love is … withholding what we prayed for in exchange for giving us something better.

Love is … closing all the doors and windows in our life, except one.

Love is … allowing us to walk through trials, but never alone.

Love is … offering us the ultimate, sacrificial Valentine’s gift: eternal life.

Our love response:

Love is … not having the answers, but holding the hand of the One who can always be trusted.

Love is … cleaning out our hearts to make room for the One from whom we can never be separated.

Love is … walking hand-in-hand through the dark with the One who lights our path, one step at a time.

Love is … accepting the love He offers through yesterday’s sacrifice on the cross. The love that bonds us forever with the One who created love.