Love Defined

heart is in my hands from Flickr via Wylio© 2007 Shimelle Laine, Flickr | CC-BY  | via Wylio

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it: we buy up candy and cards and scour the internet for pin-worthy Valentine’s mailboxes because card companies tell us to. And for me, Valentine’s Day is never the greatest celebration of my husband’s and my love. The moments that resonate deep down in my core don’t have anything to do with candy hearts. Long talks. The bag of honeycrisp apples that weren’t on the grocery list but he brought home anyway. Fixing his favorite foods for supper instead of mine. Seeing his smile written on my son’s face. We live out romance in the dance of day to day life as we keep choosing one another all over again.

Valentine’s Day rolls around every year and we look at each other and shrug and just keep doing our thing. Cause love—real love—isn’t defined by a card.

Love is defined by the cross.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Love doesn’t possess. It embraces. Love doesn’t subjugate. It sacrifices. Love doesn’t domineer. It nourishes. Love isn’t passive. Love pursues, actively seeking the best for the beloved.

This is the love Jesus showed us. He didn’t wait for us to come to him. While we were still his enemies, Jesus ran to us (Romans 5:8; Luke 15:20). He sacrificed himself to pay the price for our sin. He redeemed us, cleansed us, and made us his own.

If we want to know what love is, we have to look at the cross. Love looks like Jesus. Real love isn’t the mushy gushy meaningless pabulum of Hollywood dreams. Love seeks the best for others—and recognizes the best is always Jesus.

As we wrap up Valentine’s Day and look toward Easter, may we remember that God defined love for us at the cross. If we want to know love, we need to know Jesus.

2 Responses to Love Defined
  1. Kristin Hill Taylor
    February 25, 2015 | 1:29 pm

    “Love looks like Jesus.” –> YES! Amen. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  2. Letetia Mullenix
    February 26, 2015 | 2:17 am

    Thank you for your post! While I am by nature a romantic, I think it’s important to continually redirect our eyes from the world’s definition to the Cross. When we love like Christ we are capable of a love much grander and more powerful than anything Hollywood could imagine. God bless you!