What is the biggest kind of Love?
I love my husband. I love my family. I love candles. (Duh!) These are not all the same, but I also know there is something so much deeper than these loves. This week, I would love for you to join myself and the Antique Candle Co. family in taking a different approach to Valentine’s Day to reflect on the definition of love itself.
Our pastor had my husband and I memorize these words by Apostle Paul before we got married, and I’m so glad we did. To understand what love is, even in the slightest, truly alters your heart. You may recognize this, too:
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
There is a clear difference between our everyday love and the true love between God and ourselves. We may be outwardly kind, charitable, and devout, but without the love of God in our hearts, it is all for nothing. Replacing the love of ourselves with this humble, yet overpowering, love, is truly incomparable to any worldly love we know.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It couldn’t be any more precisely defined for us. Divine love, that we should strive to reflect in our hearts, is unconditional and unending. The church of Corinth that Paul was writing to faced these negative, selfish obstacles, all of which love is the opposite. However, this is forever applicable to our own lives: “Love is…” Not, “Love was…”
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
God. Is. Love. Nothing else is necessary. And as powerful as this love is to us now, it is incomprehensible to how immense it will be in heaven. Our faith will become sight, our hope will be fulfilled, and love will overwhelm all things. Can you imagine that Paradise?
This week, walk with us to reflect on this love, and maybe even share it with someone who could use God’s love in their life. I know we all could!
Have a blessed week, friend, and remember: YOU are loved!