February is the month of love. There are more songs written about love (or the lack of love) than any other subject on the planet. In the 1980’s, Tina Turner sung, “What’s Love Got to Do With it?” That is a very good question.
The celebration of love on Valentine’s day is typically seen as a “couple’s” holiday. We express our love for another person by giving them cards, candy, flowers, candy hearts, taking them out to dinner or maybe just staying home and cooking them a nice meal.
When we think about love and who we love, most of us would say that we love our spouse, family and friends. We love those who love us back or can give us something. We struggle to love those who have nothing to offer us. And, we even struggle to love spouses, family and friends at times.
But I believe the subject of love is much bigger than just celebrating it on a single day of the year. We should not only celebrate it, but love others, every day of the year. Easier said than done. How in the world do we do that?
What love is not
First of all, we need to understand what love is not. Love is not an emotion. We may not always “feel” love for someone, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love them. Love is not having positive feelings for those who can give something to us. Love is not a physical attraction to someone else. Love is not something that we fall in and out of. I could go on. The Bible has some great things to say on love. 1st Corinthians 13 starts off by saying that whatever we have, if it is without love, it is nothing. Then, it describes what love is in verses 4-7.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
There are many Greek words for different types of “love.” But the love referred to here is “agape” love. The best way to describe this type of love is “unconditional love.” It means you love someone without expecting them to love you back or give you anything in return Who of us can live up to that perfectly? No one. Well, maybe one person.
There was one who was always patient, always kind, did not envy or boast and was not proud. He did not dishonor others nor was self-seeking. He was not easily angered. He did not keep a record of wrongs. He did not delight in evil but rejoiced with the truth. He always protected, trusted, hoped and persevered…until His death, on the tree (cross). Yes, you knew I was speaking of Yeshua (Jesus).
Jesus is the only perfect example of agape love. So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything. He loved us so much that he gave up his life for us, so we could have a relationship with God. And, what could we actually do for Him or offer Him? Nothing. Jesus loved those of us who did not love Him back or have anything to give Him.
On this valentine’s day, we can celebrate the love that God has for us. Whether you are single, married, in a family or alone, having many friends or no friends, God still loves you!
But, one more thing. If we are followers of Yeshua, shouldn’t we also love others. Yes! How do we do that? We ask God to change us to be a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of person. He “loves” to change us to make us more like Him.
One of the best ways to love is to share the most important message in the world with family, friends and anyone else. What is that message? That God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. And that relationship is found in Jesus the Messiah. That’s what love’s got to do with it! Happy Valentine’s day.
Robyn Wilk is the founder of Le’Chayim (To Life!) Ministries where she serves as a Jewish Outreach Specialist and Consultant. To learn more, visit lechayim.org