Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you have an amazing day filled with love.
Love ALWAYS PROTECTS…ALWAYS TRUSTS...
Love protects which brings trust. To me, this is one of the most crucial traits of love. I have to feel that you will “protect” me and keep me “safe” to truly be able to connect with you. When you think of protection you may think physically as with a husband or the protection of your family but there is so much that needs to be protected in a close or intimate relationship. I need to know that you are going to protect my heart, my fears and my innermost thoughts. Being vulnerable with someone gives them the power to hurt you but hopefully, in a loving relationship, you trust that they won’t do that.
I’m sure we have all had a friend or loved one betray our trust and the closer that betrayal the harder it is to recover and the less likely you are to open up like that again. It can be so scary to feel that exposed but there is something so beautiful in being with someone with whom you feel fully known and safe. When describing the Proverbs 31 woman the author speaks of how her husband’s heart trusts her. It’s a beautiful picture of a man knowing he is safe to let down his walls and tough exterior within the protection of a loving relationship.
As a woman, I can’t love a man I can’t respect and I can’t respect a man I don’t trust and as I learned in my foray into the male psyche last year, a man can’t love if he doesn’t feel respected and trusted. So, look for people who are not only WILLING to protect you but WANT to protect you and consider how you can protect those you have been entrusted with.
Love ALWAYS HOPES…
Hope...praise the Lord that He decided hope would be a thing because we all need hope at some point or another. Sometimes hope is that little ray of light that helps you get out of bed when the world seems so dark. Or the tiny bit of inspiration that allows you to smile when your heart is breaking. We need hope in all parts of life because the tough times come regardless of how we might try to stop them.
Love ALWAYS PERSEVERES…
For me, persevering evokes images of running and being so physically exhausted that you can barely carry on and you may even slow to a snail’s pace but you don’t stop moving your feet. Life requires perseverance because the world is broken. Friendships, marriage and child-rearing require perseverance because you are dealing with sinful humans.
There’s a gentleman I know who has been married for fifty plus years and he once told me that in any marriage there will be moments when you love your spouse but you don’t like them and that’s okay but you can’t quit. He also taught me that love is a choice not a feeling. We live in a bailout culture where the minute you feel unhappy or frustrated you jump ship and look for something new. If you aren’t willing to push through some tough times you will never find true fulfillment with someone in any relational context.
Love NEVER FAILS!
This may seem like a tall order but remember it doesn’t say people never fail. It says LOVE never fails and if we read 1 John 4 we realize God is love and we know He never fails. (“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12)
So let us strive to love our family, significant others, friends and strangers with the truth of what love really represents and see if the world doesn’t blossom before us.