Ignorance always comes at a price, especially on Valentine’s Day. One day, a young woman by the name of Ms. Ignorance scanned the entries in her journal from the past year. She pensively traveled down Memory Lane with each entry:

  • “I had to take my new scarf back to the store — it was too tight.”
  • “I completed a jigsaw puzzle in six months. The box said two to four years.”
  • “The power was out at the mall, and I got stuck on the escalator.”
  • “Afraid someone was following me, I called 911 . . . but I couldn’t find ‘11’ on the phone.”
  • “I went water skiing, but I couldn’t find any lakes with slopes.”

Ms. Ignorance could always be counted on to live up to her name. Sadly there are many people who are just as ignorant . . . of what true love is. They equate love with chocolate, flowers, or diamonds. (Don’t get me wrong — if you want a happy wife, then get her all of the above.) Hollywood has portrayed love as a feeling which is fed by sexual desire, a person’s physical appearance, ability, social status, or wealth. The problem is, when these things are depleted, there is no more “love.” Nothing is said of commitment or selfless concern for the other person. No mention is made of the role God plays in building and maintaining relationships. That is why 1,020,000 marriages in the US do not survive to see Valentine’s Day each year.

The best portrait of love is found in the pages of Scripture: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [satisfactory payment] for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) His love was perfect and complete. It was selfless. It was humble. It was strong. It was worthy of emulation. We ignore such love to our peril.

Once we acknowledge God’s love, gratitude behooves us to extend it to others. Husbands, wives, children, neighbors, friends, and co-workers all need to see this love demonstrated in our lives on a daily basis. The more we practice loving others, the more we will emulate the love of Christ — and the sweeter our Valentine’s Day will be.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.