“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – I Corinthians 13:4-8a

The day dedicated to romance has a history shrouded in rumors and uncertainty. It is definitely not nailed down. No one is even positive of the true Saint Valentine the day is named after among three with the same name.

But one thing is certain, this day today is a grand money maker. Florists and candy makers flourish. Restaurants do a fabulous business. Card makers supply 151 million Valentine’s Day cards, not counting the cards exchanged at school. Though Christmas by far is still the greatest card-giving holiday, Valentine’s Day is second. It is a popular holiday to say the least.

Yet, the true definition or expression of love, and hence romance, is not found in a Valentine card, nor flowers, or candy. It is found in the Bible, namely 1 Corinthians 13. Nothing else even comes close. St. Paul in one brief chapter of the Bible exquisitely defines true love. You can say, as well, that 1 John 4 is a genuine expression of love.

The Bible tells you God is love. In other words, He personifies what love is. In fact, God is simply the true standard maker of everything, for He is the cause of all. Still explaining love as “God is love” is a bit ambiguous for too many because they do not study God to grasp genuine love. How do you know you genuinely love your husband, wife, children, etc. using “God is love.” Do atheists, for example, really “love” another person despite not believing God is?

Love is certainly somewhat a natural human instinct which all “seem” to possess as an expression of their feeling for those considered “loved ones.” But that may only mean they feel a “fonder closeness” to them, yet not the full expression of 1 Corinthians 13?

If you are willing to agree that these verses define authentic love, then you ought to express your love as directed by them. Compare what you think is love as validated by “the love chapter,” and then, if you desire to truly love another, strive to perfect that love by conforming more and more to God’s precious standard. He knows what love is!

“My Jesus I love thee, I know thou art mine; for thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”

(1st verse of William Featherstone’s hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” 1864)

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