It’s February. The month when we officially celebrate “romantic love.”
It seems like I had barely removed the ornaments from our Christmas tree when heart-shaped coffee mugs, paper heart doilies, and I-love-you teddy bears started appearing on department store shelves everywhere!
Valentine’s Day: Russell Stover chocolate boxes, red roses, and romantic sentiments.
Don’t get the wrong impression. I’m pro-Valentine Day. We always enjoy a candle-lit dinner, roses, smooth jazz, slow dancing…you get the picture.
But after being on this journey of trying to really know my Savior and who He is, I have learned that love is much more than heart-shaped chocolate boxes and red roses.
Love is a sacrifice.
When my elderly neighbor needs help and I am too exhausted to pitch-in…
When my boys on the autism spectrum are standing on my very last nerve and all I want to do is yell…
When I don’t feel like I have anything left for my wife who simply needs a listening ear…
When the Lord beckons me to spend time with Him but I’m tired and want to go to sleep…
I will choose to give a sacrifice of love.
But how do we, as flawed and often overwhelmed parents, really walk this out? How do we learn how to love like this when many of us never received it from others?
We know sacrificial love when we know the Savior.
“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for others.” 1 John 3:16
To know Christ is to know love. To give love, even when it hurts and costs you something, is to embody Christ.
Mom. Dad. Your sacrificial acts of love present, as a gift, the love of Christ to one another.
I think truth is amazing.
Even though I fall woefully short on many days, today and every day, I’ll try to live out what 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13
May we all learn to love our spouses…and our children…as Christ sacrificially loves us.
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