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902138D4-4612-45FE-B693-D6C0FCB15E61 This time of year we celebrate Valentine’s Day. This is a celebration for many countries of the world. It is a uniting Holiday and we can all use more unity! We think of love in a romantic way when we think of February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Read this scripture and think of what love is: “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:22-33‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ This scripture from the Bible is a great reference to Valentine’s Day and what love is. God speaks to husbands and wives calling them to a higher level of love. It’s a circle of love. Wives are called to submit to the husband while the husbands are called to love the wife and give themselves for her. It’s not one-sided. The wife is asked to submit while the husband is asked to give himself up even to death for the wife. Both are a level of serving each other. Both are a calling of unselfishness and to lay aside one’s self to serve the other. Nothing can teach you to be humble more than marriage. If you don’t learn to set aside your wants and desires or your expectations and methods, you end up in some arguments that will either teach you to change and try to be less selfish or will cause your heart to harden and become more selfish. Keep in mind that the choice is ours to make. The wife can choose to submit and the husband can choose to lay themselves down. But the choice is ours to make. Hopefully, you will choose to live out your life and your marriage according to God’s Word. This way you can be a light to the World pointing others to The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Only through Christ can this be accomplished. I’m not saying that non-Christians can’t have a happy and fulfilling marriage. I am saying that without Christ involved, it’s not the fulfilling marriage it could be and without Christ involved, it’s less likely to succeed to the level it can with Christ. Let’s look beyond marriage as well. This scripture references the mystery of Christ and the Church. Christ died for all of us. Those of us who accept Him and His gift of Eternal Life are now His Church, His People! He laid down his life for us. Valentine’s Day is actually a direct picture of that. Saint Valentine is a martyr who suffered and died for the sake of Jesus Christ, for His name, and for His purposes. He was killed because He followed Christ. He loved Christ so much, that Saint Valentine was killed for his dedication and love and service to Jesus Christ. I hope that we will not only think of how much we LOVE our spouse this Valentine’s Day but how we can step up our level of selfishness overall. What a blessing marriage is because it can teach us to be less selfish with our spouse, it can teach us how to be less selfish in all of life which will help us be more like Jesus. Then we can love even better. Then we can also think about how much Jesus loves us and how our love within marriage should reflect His love for the church. Ultimately the husband should lay down his life for his wife. When we think of Valentine’s Day from now on, I hope it elevates your love for Christ, love for your spouse and family, and love for all others and deflates your love for yourself. I also hope we think of how we are celebrating a person who loved Christ so much they were killed for Him and I hope that also elevates us to a higher calling to LOVE Jesus. “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ Patient. Kind. Grateful for what others have and what they accomplish. Humble. Modest. Proper. Selfless. Slow to anger or slow to react in anger. Forgiving, to the point of not remembering the fault or offense. Finds joy in only righteous acts. Rejoices in truth and does not listen to lies! Emotionally and on other levels bearing all things. Believing. Hopeful. Full of endurance. Never-ending. LOVE NEVER ENDS. That means love is eternal. For love to be eternal, life needs to be eternal. Jesus Christ is eternal life. He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ Love God. Love Others. Happy Valentine’s Day. Intend to Live