14 Valentines

Valentine’s Day was first instituted in 496 AD by Pope Gelasius I in commemoration of the Christian martyr of Saint Valentine. February 14th has since morphed into a celebration of love and romance, characterized by the exchange of roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, and ostentatiously oversized stuffed bears. While this holiday is often spent indulging in excessive sweets or proffering Disney princess and Transformers themed valentines to friends, let us not neglect Scripture’s description of true love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 reminds us of the enduring, God-honoring ways we can show love to one another. Here are fourteen valentines that don’t come in a Hallmark card, flower bouquet, or jewelry box:

1. Patience

2. Kindness

3. Choosing not to envy

4. Choosing not to boast

5. Humility

6. Choosing not to dishonor

7. Seeking the best interests of others

8. Not quick to anger

9. Keeping no record of wrongs

10. Not delighting in evil, but rejoicing in the truth

11. Protection

12. Trust

13. Hope

14. Perseverance

This February 14th, challenge yourself to give a valentine that can’t be purchased with a Visa or manufactured out of sugar. Which number on the list seemed least appealing when you considered its application in your life? Chances are, that’s the exact trait God desires to cultivate in you to build your character. So why not start today? Seek to love your spouse, siblings, parents, and friends with your actions. Show your love through humility, forgiveness, trust, and kindness. Where we are deficient, God is sufficient. When we reach up to Him in our weakness, He is faithful to instill us with His strength. If you struggle with impatience, make a conscientious effort to love patiently. If you are notoriously hotheaded, retrain your temper to love cheerfully.  If you have a penchant for self-promotion, strive to put the needs of others before yourself, and love selflessly. So this Valentine’s Day, love like Jesus.