Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?
“Love is a feeling you feel when you’re feeling a feeling you’ve never felt before.” That was the definition of love given to me as a child by the late Mrs. Tommie Griffin. As a child, the catchy phrase satisfied my desire to understand love. As a teenager, I learned feelings tend to be based more on infatuation than deep, abiding love. And as an adult, I have come to understand that love has little at all to do with feelings, but instead, is a choice you must continually make to put another’s well being before your own.
St. Valentine understood that. When an edict was issued banning marriage in an attempt to keep soldier’s minds focused on war rather than family, St. Valentine married lovers in secret. He believed so strongly in Christian marriage that he was willing to lose his life to protect it. Legend is told that while in jail awaiting execution, St. Valentine prayed for the healing of the blind daughter of a jailer. Upon being healed, the two exchanged correspondence. In his last letter to the jailer’s daughter, the note was signed, “From Your Valentine”. To remember the legacy of St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day is now observed.
Loving the people we like is an easy enough task, but what about those people who are “thorns in our flesh”? Jesus said it doesn’t matter. “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.” (Luke 6:32-33, 35a NLT) How then do we love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us a good reference. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Love without sacrifice is not really love. Love will always cost you something, but it will always be worth it. St. Valentine lived what he believed, and it cost him everything. He lived out 1 John 3:18 that reads, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” Actions speak louder than words. We need to make sure our actions communicate love to everyone we come in contact.
Have a blessed and love-filled week, y’all!