But if we love each other, God lives in us…” 1 John 4: 12

“We love because He first loved us.” verse 19

What is LOVE?

The question should be WHO is love? The Bible says that God is love but what does that mean?

We understand the feelings of intense love when we meet the “person of our dreams” or when we hold our beautiful baby. The challenge comes when we feel irritated with that spouse or child, who is now a toddler or teenager.

My daughter says:

This week my kids are buzzing with talk of Valentines, parties and all things LOVE related.  As a child I often heard 1 Corinthians 13, known as the “love chapter”. To memorize it for a school project, my friend and I wrote a rap.  I can still recite the rap to this day, over 20 years later!! 

Despite this, the phrases can just be words that roll off my tongue, not necessarily words of the heart, that sink down deep and marinate my life, actions, and interactions with the world around me. 

Today my Bible app message was from 1 Corinthians 13: 4, 5 which says “Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”   

The words jumped off the screen.  “It does not demand its own way.”  How many times have I been indignant towards my husband, children, the person who cuts me off and steals my Costco parking spot? According to Jesus, love does not demand its own way.  Yikes.  There’s more: “it is not irritable…”  DOUBLE YIKES.  Guilty! 

My children have sometimes questioned my husband and I about which one we love most.  It’s difficult for children to understand that one child might be more responsive to discipline another more helpful but none of that affects the amount of love we have for them.

I believe the answer to give children is the one God gives all of us… “I love YOU the most. I also love your brother the most and your sister.”

Real love doesn’t have a quantity attached because God is limitless.

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, we know how love looks in our culture. You need a date with a significant other, flowers, chocolates, and maybe breakfast in bed with homemade cards from children.

This message is to remind all of us that those are manifestations of love from the outside. Love on the inside looks very different. It is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful or irritable. That kind of love is only possible when we understand how much we are loved by our Creator God.

May you experience God’s love today…and every day!

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