Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love: Sacrificial Acts, One At A Time

I was in a store the day before Valentine's Day and watched a harried businessman briskly walk in to buy a card. Since I was also getting one for my wife, he walked up right next to me to choose his. And he took all of twelve seconds to pick it out. Obviously, his feelings were really deep for his sweetheart.

OK, maybe he truly loves her and was feeling especially guilty and short on time. Nonetheless, the image of that man in a hurry to "love" reminded me that true love is really so much more. Our culture has often made love into something merely syrupy, temporary or sexy.

And yet if we're honest we know it's far greater than that. The book of I Corinthians places it the highest on its list with faith and hope.

And while no one can ever totally describe love maybe we can look at a few of its components to remind us of its richness and what we might want to model better this year in our homes.

Love is sacrificial. Anyone in a marriage or other relationship must never expect 50/50 relating. There are times when it's equal and both partners should learn to love well. But sacrifice means just that - we give up something. Sometimes we have to give totally because the other doesn't or is incapable of it for a time. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of love for us as our example and got little in return from us.

Love is long-term. It's one thing to do a loving act a time or two, but it's far more to love over and over, year after year. Too many people go into marriage thinking there is an expiration date on their need to love. But real love lasts and endures through even the worst.

Love isn't selfish. Love isn't done for what we'll get in return, how we'll look or to have good feelings. Love totally focuses on another for their good. That means that sometimes we have to have tough love or set up boundaries with people. We do even those hard things because we love them.

Finally, love is God-directed. The Bible says that God is love so we need to get our strength and direction from the source. If we try to love on our own, we'll mess up. We won't sacrifice, last for long or we'll probably take the glory for ourselves.

So, as Valentine's Day for another year fades, don't let your love wane. Make it richer and stronger and more giving than ever. Love really is the glue that holds us all together.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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