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It's that time of the year again. It's hard to ignore the daily reminders - pink and red hearts in the store windows, chocolate displays, and flower delivery ads in the sidebar of your browser.
Valentine's Day. Perhaps more of a "Hallmark holiday" than a true representation of what it means to love and be loved, but still, isn't it worth thinking about?
"Love one another" was the greatest commandment ever given, after all.
Love one another - no qualifiers, no rules, no exceptions. Just love. It's a way of life, a calling, really. But, you should know: This kind of love is not the kind you read about in Hallmark cards.
"The kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence." - Bob Goff, Love Does
This kind of love asks us to give of ourselves and set aside our own wants and needs. It's time-consuming and it won't always be reciprocated. But it also never fades. It "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7). This kind of love never fails.
You gave us the perfect example of what it means to love. You taught us to love one another as you've loved us, but you know our hearts and you know we sometimes struggle with this.
We talk about love without really living it. We love when it's easy to love - when it's given back to us. But we know that love isn't really love when it's tied to expectation, when it has limits, when it has to be earned.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not boastful or self-serving, arrogant, or envious. It is not self-serving. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Lord, show us opportunities to live this kind of love through our words and actions this week. Bring us to places where we can be your light and share your great love with others.
Thank you for loving us unconditionally, without expectation or exception. Thank you for loving us even when we fall short of your glory, when we fail you. Lord, you are so good to us. Help us to love the people you bring into our lives this week with the kind of love you show to us every day. Amen.
© 2016 Ashley Danyew