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Valentine’s Day will be here soon and what a better topic to write about than LOVE! Many have heard the story of St. Valentine, third-century Roman Saint, who showed love to so many through witnessing of Christ’s love for us. He refused to denounce his faith in Jesus which led to his death on February 14, 269 A.D.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 This verse is one of the most familiar and memorized verses in the Bible. Some of us learned it as young children in Sunday School. I was listening to my eight year old son recite the verse last night before he said his bedtime prayer. He said, (with his southern twang) “Mama..God does love everybody. He sent His Son to die for our sins. That is a whole lot of love.” Yes, son it certainly is a whole lot of love that God has for us. Afterwards, I started thinking about the unconditional, undeserving love that God has for all of us. I recalled the commandment that Jesus gave us in the New Testament: “A new command I give you, Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).”
In John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This passage inspired the hymn by Peter R. Scholtes, “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love.” I often see Christians being in the forefront of controversy in this area. Do we demonstrate an unconditional, undeserving love for others? If so, why do people feel “ostracized” and “not good enough” in our presence, in our churches? Have we failed as the “church” to show Christ’s love? I think we are all guilty of not fulfilling the command Jesus gave to us over two thousand years ago.
In Ephesians 5:25, Paul said “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” If husbands loved their wives, truly loved their wives and put themselves in last place just like Christ did in His sacrificial offering, then we would see less marital conflict, domestic abuse, and divorce. When husbands are being the “spiritual leader” of their home, showing love, respect, patience and gentleness; Paul said this will transcend into the wife respecting and loving her husband. Through the Holy Spirit, Paul was speaking to the husbands first in regards to “love” because the end result would be wives respecting their husbands. When both husband and wife stop doing their God given command of loving one another that is when the enemy steps in to destroy the marriage.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”Love truly conquers unforgiveness, bitterness, and brokenness. God is LOVE and He has called us to love one another. By doing this, we are witnessing Christ’s love and forgiveness to those who may not know Him, just as St. Valentine did in his life. Love is all you need!
References: The Holy Bible; P.R. Scholtes (1968); John Lennon (1967); enwikipedia.org/wiki/saint_valentine
By Wendy McNeal, eParisExtra columnist, of Oasis
Wendy McNeal is the owner and therapist of Oasis Counseling & Consulting (Synergy C&C, LLC). Wendy isa Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups using Christian values and principles. She also provides consultation services that include seminars, retreats workshops to clinicians, industry, agencies, and professional organizations. Wendy received her BSW in 2000, and MSW in 2008 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She is a member of the American Associations of Christian Counselors. Wendy has worked in community mental health for more than a decade. She has clinical experience in child/adolescents, geriatrics, and community based based outreach.