Notes from the Church Lady
Published: Friday, February 11th, 2005
Talk of love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. Retailers urge the purchase of flowers, candy (especially chocolate) and other items to pledge undying love for that special someone. For those needing suggestions, there are books and unending romance movies (also known as “chick-flicks”) to help the romance challenged person to make the perfect pledge of undying love on this one day of the year. I even saw a commercial that spoofed romance as a young man was trying to propose marriage to his beloved at a basketball game but she missed the announcement on the screen because she was more interested in the candy she was eating. The world suggests ways to persuade that special person to love you and then the two of them live happily ever after. Once that undying love is pledged, the euphoria of love will see a person through anything, that is until the first crisis rolls around. It is at that time that feelings go out the window and it is the commitment to one another that takes over and stands the test of time. For true love to stand the test of time, a person must first choose to love someone. Feelings are fleeting and unreliable although that is what usually draws us to a person in the first place. I know when I first met Mark; I think I was more in love with thenotion of being in love than loving him. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized what real love is all about. I remember that first Valentineís Day we were together and how I dreamed of that perfect life we were going to live together. Looking back I realize now that I didn’t know what true love was at the time. The pastor that married Mark and I counseled us before the wedding and urged us to take a close look at 1 Corinthians 13 also known as the “love chapter” of the Bible. I remember reading the words, but at the time I didn’t know what they meant. Many of the lessons in this chapter of the Bible, I learned the hard way as the focus was taken off of myself. In the NIV, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 states: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not selfseeking, 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. Love never fails.” True love is more than an emotion it is an action. I once heard that love takes work and I believe that is true. It is easy to get caught up in our own little world where we are the center of our own universe and think others should love us for who we are. When the temptation arises to put ourselves first, I find it helpful to turn back to this passage. As the writer points out, love is not selfseeking. True love is looking outside of ourselves to the needs of the other person without expecting anything in return. If only everyone lived this way, the world would be a much better place. We wonít always be loved in this world in the way we wished, but we have the love of Jesus Christ that is perfect and pure. On this Valentine’s Day instead of seeking the love of others, I hope we will instead make the choice to love others because love never fails.
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