February 14, 2018 Farmville Enterprise
Call me old and unromantic or just the wife of a minister who has substantial experience in premarital counseling, but the statement that “love is not a feeling” is deeply ingrained in my mind. On Valentine’s Day stores probably don’t sell a lot of “love is a choice” or “love in word and deed” T-shirts. Romantic love surely is exciting and can be such a gift. It can flourish over the course of a relationship. Inevitably, over the long haul it will ebb and flow. Agape or selfless love is different than this eros love.
God’s love for each of us is completely selfless and is impossible to comprehend fully. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1) In a sermon John Piper, an American Reformed Baptist pastor and author, said that God “went way beyond the love of rescue and the love of sacrifice and the love of clemency to his enemies. In and through all this he had a greater design. He showed us another kind of love beyond all that. He might have rescued us, sacrificed for us, forgiven us, and not gone any further. But instead he showed us another kind of love—he took us into his family. He made us to be called children of God.”
To love the way God intends we must do more than have feelings or merely talk about them. By our actions we should show our love, even if we don’t feel particularly loving at the time or if we dislike the recipient. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our sisters and brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees a sister or brother in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12:9-10)
If we all do this today could be the best Valentine’s Day ever.