What is love?
We think a lot about love this time of year as the dreary grays of winter are filled with red and pink, flowers and chocolates. Even though I’m single, I really like this holiday. I enjoy watching my married friends celebrate years of working together, enjoying each other’s company, and continuing to date each other. A successful godly marriage is something to celebrate in today's world, and I’m very happy for them.
Of course, not everyone has this kind of love in their lives.
That’s okay, because as the great Mary Tyler Moore said, “Love is all around.” There are a million different ways we can express love and receive love.
For instance, last year, Valentine’s Day was awful. It wasn’t because I was single, but because we were experiencing a family crisis and my Dad was septic in the hospital as doctors were determining if he could keep his foot. (Thankfully, he only lost a toe, but at the time, we did not know what would happen.)
That Saturday, the best Valentine I received came from a friend who sent Jamie and I a video of her three-year-old granddaughter dressed in a little red outfit saying, “I am praying for your Daddy.”
I cannot tell you how many times I watched that video! It touched my heart so much!!! While I knew that the little girl was just saying what her grandma told her to say, taking the time to send the video made Jamie and I feel more loved and supported than you could ever imagine.
A year ago, that gesture still reminds me of the meaning of love.
This year, as we’re heading into another Valentine’s Day, it seems that once again, many are going through difficult times. Yet, in each situation, I see love displayed.
Love is the daughter who is caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s or the fifty year old son helping his elderly Dad from a wheelchair into the car.
Love is the mother caring for her child with a physical disability.
It's the main ingredient in the care package being sent off to a son or daughter at college.
Love is the grandparent teaching their grandchild to bake cookies.
It's the Girl’s Ministry Class sending glittery Valentines to shut-ins.
Love is the friend shoveling a neighbor’s snow or taking a hot meal to a family who isn't feeling well.
Love is the friend calling to see how you are when they are going through a hard time themselves.
Love is listening.
Love is laughing.
Love is in the genuine apology, and it’s in heartfelt forgiveness.
Love is the parent who works hard to provide for their family, then comes home, cooks, cleans, continues parenting, and still has time to pray and read their Bible with their kids at night.
Love is everywhere.
As 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says,
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. (The Message)
Whatever season or stage of life you are in—this kind of love is worth celebrating.
The best way to celebrate is to put this type of love into action. This week, show someone you love them. Love the way love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
And of course, wear red and have some amazing chocolate!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."