Will you be sending chocolates or flowers in the middle of this month? Do you have a Valentine? On the 14th people all over the world will be celebrating their love for each other. However, we could be celebrating honey as St Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers (and epileptics and against the plague for that matter). But for some reason love seems to win the day. Maybe it’s because ‘All you need is love’. It rolls off the tongue easily doesn’t it? It’s certainly a nice thought! But what is this love? Hollywood would have us believe that it happens at first sight and that it all happens so easily (apart from a comic moment or two). But anyone who’s experienced love knows that it’s far from easy – that it’s complicated. Relationships are affected by what goes on around them. Those who seemed so in love can become just moderately affectionate. Even those unbreakable bonds between a parent and a child can become stretched, frayed and perhaps snap. Sometimes it’s hard to love someone who is a burden or who offends you, even if you feel you should love them. So what do you do then, when the chocolates and flowers seem a long way away?
I read recently that love is not about how you feel but about how you act. It’s not about feeling gooey inside, but about how you act towards the other person. It’s about whether you continue to treat them with dignity and respect and whether you continue to care for them.
So if, this Valentine’s day, you’re struggling to find ‘that loving feeling’ perhaps take heed of this word of scripture:
‘Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord, even if our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything’. (1 Jn 3:18-20).