What’s Love Got To Do With It?

When we told our Sunday School class that we would be having a Valentine’s Day lesson next week, you wouldn’t believe the reaction we received.

Oh no!
Not love!
I can’t even watch my mom and dad kiss!
Do we have to?
Arghhh...

I was completely caught off guard. We’ve talked about love in class before without so much as a whimper, but as soon as the word Valentine came up, they wanted nothing to do with it. What I soon understood was they were associating Valentine’s Day with schmoopy-schmoopy love and not a love we can all share amongst ourselves on a daily basis.

The Bible has multiple words that mean love - one for friendship, another for general “stuff” that we like, one for believers to treat one another and one that describes the unconditional love of God. All of these use the same English word “love,” even though the action of love in each case is different.

What our upper elementary-aged students heard was “love,” and they immediately thought of romantic love the way it is promoted in February. They didn’t even want to think about dating and kissing and marriage. So next Sunday we’re going to talk about love in the truest sense of the word.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Our kids can quote this verse, but it’s not the definition of love they think about this time of year. Yes, we love our husbands and we love our children, but God’s love goes so far beyond that, that it’s incomprehensible. That is the love we’re going to study in class.

God didn’t just love us a little. He loved us so far beyond any definition that He gave. That’s it right there, isn’t it? He gave. He didn’t ask us to buy anything or trade anything or beg for anything. He gave willingly and completely and without hesitation. And what He gave - His only begotten Son - was the highest and most precious gift He could have given. Of all the things He gives us on a daily basis, salvation through Jesus Christ is the only one that lasts for eternity.

Forget jewels and chocolate and puppies this Valentine’s Day. Let’s give an even better gift by sharing the love of God with everyone we meet. That kind of knowledge can change lives and change the world. If that love was His chosen gift, we should be giving it, too.

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