On Valentine’s Day, a holiday usually focused on emotions and romantic love, I thought it would be good to look at what scripture has to say about love. My conclusion? Love is difficult. It’s a high calling and it costs us something. A love that is difficult can certainly include romantic love, but also ranges far beyond it.
Is rooted in the character of God:
The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. — Exodus 34:6-7
God commands us to love him with not just emotion or intention, but with action and strength:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. — Deuteronomy 6:5
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
We are called to love those who don’t love us:
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? — Matthew 5:46-47
We are called to love those who are different from ourselves—different in language, culture, and beliefs:
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34
It manifests in action and generosity:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
How can you live out love today?