Love First

Blog 2.14.2022

Love First

February 14 is a tricky day. For some, it is a day to exhibit a grandiose spectacle of adoration for another person; and for others, it is a day that lives in infamy. While I would wager to guess that for 90% of us, we fall somewhere between these two extremes. How you feel about the day is not where the uncertainty lies, the hard part about Valentine’s Day is knowing how your significant other wishes to observe the day. There are two options, have a conversation outlining expectations, or you have to know your partner well enough to make that determination. Because people are inconsistent, I always recommend having a conversation; regardless of what is said, do something meaningful to represent that love: a handwritten note or a walk down memory lane are good places to start and end reminiscing about a relationship. The tactics listed above are not without flaws; some may not appreciate what is offered. Some individuals may say they do not want to celebrate in any fashion while secretly hoping for any gesture of affection, large or small. That is why I suggest always doing something.

Looking at scripture, I see this principle observed. God loves us more thoroughly than we realize. God also knows humanity better than we know ourselves. He is our creator, and He searches our thoughts and hearts. You would imagine that gestures of love would not be an issue; however, humans are fickle, inconsistent beings. We say we want to be loved but reject all forms of love. We say we don’t want others to make a big deal about us, and then we grumble when no one notices us. Our words, thoughts, and actions rarely align on the subject of love. That is why I am thankful that God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). But perhaps the best way to navigate this complicated pseudo-holiday is by loving first.

1 John 4:19
“We love because he first loved us.”

This is the pinnacle of love. God knew that we struggle with love. Recognizing love, receiving love, and especially expressing love; so, He did the inconceivable, He loved us first. Humanity would have balked at the idea of a gesture so grand and amazing, retorting, “No, you don’t have to do anything; we are good just the way we are.” We would have dismissed any displays of affection, rejecting the source and author of love. Perhaps we would have said, “I like what you gave me last year; I mean the earth and everything in is so nice, you don’t have to do anything else.” God knew better, He knew we needed His love, and the love we needed required a demonstration so monumental that we could not ignore it. We cannot overlook that the sacrifice also restores our relationship to God and is wrapped up in this demonstration of love. This incredible act of love is what draws us closer to God and allows us to have a relationship with Him. We are so inept at love that God made the This is how much we needed God’s love, pay for our iniquities, and pave the way for us to dwell in the love that can only come from Him.

This supreme example of love has another advantage; it allows us to comprehend love and give it to others.

1 John 4:7-12
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

Love is complex; it may be too lofty for us to fully understand. This is the wonderfulness of God’s love. In this passage, we perceive the very nature of God; in this passage, love is demonstrated perfectly. The sending and sacrifice of Jesus provided the complete definition of love, giving practicality to a complex concept. Through this passage, we learn a few things. First, love is from God; it is a divine quality granted to us. Second, we perform love through actions; God’s love sent Jesus into the world. This example also shows that love is sacrificial. Third, love is enduring; it does not stop with us; therefore, we should pass it on to others. If we choose not to love, the love we do have is incomplete and imperfect. On a day we remember to love, let’s bring these concepts into reality. Let us write little notes showing that we care. Let us be the first to say how much we love someone else; let us live out our love through actions giving up our own comforts for the benefit of others.

Let us love first, through our actions, sacrificially, enduringly, and how God first loved us.

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