(First Corinthians 13:7-8)
In an age with so many disturbing definitions of love; everybody loving everything everywhere; it is so easy to move away from what love really is. It is so easy to engage in the confusion of this world and lose sight of what is beyond the red roses of Valentine’s Day. This secular approach of love will give you very little to gain even if you spend millions. It is this love that survives in the better, but always flees in the worst.
The love that I am writing about is the love that gladly gives it all without hidden agendas. A love that gives, expecting nothing in return. It is the love that sacrifices, the love that carries the heavy burden of longsuffering, the love that is able to see your greatness in the Lord beyond your current humanity, and the love that sets our own dreams on hold for the sake of our brother. It is an unselfish love that can’t be comprehended by the world: it is in fact what should separate us from them.
It is easy to go through life without ever having to really prove this kind of love. A love where you can find yourself satisfied with a sporadic hug; growing up in a typical American family where everything is well; children growing up normal with no major issues. To see the day, to see the night, to see death, to see our existence, to see the normal victories, the sure failures, frustrations and shortcoming of life, but never having to prove anything.
What would we do if placed in Abraham’s position as he was getting ready to sacrifice Isaac? Would we send any of our children away for the sake of loving God and protecting His promises to a nation that our eyes will not even see as Abraham sends away his oldest son Ishmael? Are we willing to give up anything for the sake of our wives? The thought of loving this way terrifies me! The thought of having to prove my love by sacrificing my life and what is important to me for the sake of love, agonizes my soul. This love suffers long (1 Corinthians 13:4). Who wants to suffer? Is there anyone raising their hands? This Love tells us to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16). Who volunteers for that one?
Do you feel that you are bearing much? Do you believe the impossible as everybody ridicules you? Do people doubt your sanity because you hope for what seems to be hopeless and because you endure what you should be getting out of? Are you known as delusional for standing in great expectation of victory when all they see is defeat all around you? The Lord tells you this day: “Keep going! No matter what people say; no matter the pain; no matter how things look like; no matter where you find yourself…Love never fails! Your victory is sure; your reward is great! Your love goes beyond the red roses of Valentine’s Day.”