What is love?

Love is one of the word where everybody relates with, from every nation, color or race. Love is one of the greatest need of man. Everybody wants to be loved, everybody understands the love language. Many relationships are going through “love crisis”. And many more people are becoming victims of the word Love. However, over the years, the word love has developed into a vague word with so many meanings and different applications. This now poses a lot of questions into the minds of young people, like;

What really is love or true love?  
How do you know that you are in a true love relationship?
How can you improve the love in your relationship?

This is not limited only to emotional relationship, we do ask the same questions when it comes to relating with family members, friends, career mates, business partners and strangers. We wish to have good and healthy relationships. Someone said, love is the salt in every good and true relationship.

How is Valentine’s day related to Love?

Today, people are looking for opportunities to prove their love to the people they wish to keep their love. And it appears the feast day of saint Valentine fit into the desire of such a day. Let’s start by looking at the historical background of this day.

How did Valentine’s day come about?

They lived a Roman catholic priest (also known as the bishop of Terni) who was born in A.D 226 and he died February 14, 269 being executed outside the Flaminian gate after refusing to renounce Jesus Christ under the command of emperor Claudius Gothicus when he defy the ban on marriage from the emperor. (the emperor banned marriage because he thought marriage people were bad soldiers) Before his martyrdom, under house arrest by Judge Asterius, it is recorded that he had a discussion with the judge on the validity of Jesus through which the judge brought his adopted blind daughter to reckon with Valentinus( the Latin version of Valentine’s name) on the condition that if he restores her sight, he will do whatever he says but if she doesn’t see, Valentine will be put to death. And Valentinus prayed to God and the Lord Jesus restored the sight of his daughter.  This amazed the judge and he accepted to destroy all the idols around his house, take a three days fast and freed all the Christian inmates under his authority and to undergo water baptism with all his 44members household.

Valentine has special affection toward Christians in prison, marriage people and people with disabilities and he died for this course as he stood against the degree of the emperor which forbid marriage for soldiers. It is reported that upon Valentinus execution, he has written a letter of love and encouragement to the daughter of judge Asterius was regained her sight through his prayers, with a conclusion of “from your Valentine”.

In was in A.D 496 that pope Gelasius I established 14 February (the day Valentinus died) as a feast day in honor of saint Valentine. This date was later used to replace the secular festival of Lupercalia which was mainly for exchange of gifts by pagans for romantic purposes. People latter began to use this day to share love gifts and as time went on a lot of emotions and romance has been attached to it especially by young people.

How can one celebrate valentine’s day?

Let me start by saying that you are not under any obligation to celebrate valentine day. But if you choose to celebrate it, you must not sin against your maker and displease God before whom you shall give an account of your life to please a friend. Seeing that love is a great human need, the devil has invested highly in corrupting the word love and the mind of people about it. So often, when you tell somebody especially an opposite sex that you love him or her, he/she associate it to romantic desires. The world uses the word love with a different context. Below are suggested way in which you can celebrate valentine’s day;

  • You can reach out to those with disabilities with gifts wrapped up with love because that was where saint Valentine’s passion was
  • You can visit single parents with a word of encouragement, food or any assistance or those who are separated from marriage for one reason or the other for saint Valentine died in his passion to unite couples in marriage.
  • You can pray for families and for those trusting God to marry
  • You can present a gift to someone you care for, in all righteousness and holiness.
  • You must keep your body from all spiritual and physical defilement. (No sex, no kisses, and any such thing for singles)
  • Don’t go out with somebody’s spouse for emotional reasons
  • You can visit those in prison with a token of love to communicate the love of Christ
  • You can gather the children, especially the orphans and share a meal or gifts with them.
  • You can renew your marriage commitments and love for each other
  • You can preach Christ to someone who has never known Him for those are the real people whose hearts need love.

 

What is love from a biblical perspective?

From scriptures we see that this word Love is so important that God is identified and defined by Love. And it appears anyone who avoid this word Love, is not of God or does not know God. The bible says God is Love (1 John 4:8) and for God so love the world (John 3:16) which has to do with passionate love. In Ephesian 3:19, knowing the love of Christ is associated with being filled with the fullness of God. And Jesus said men shall know that you are His disciple if you love.

It becomes important to understand what is love and how to love. Greek as a language uses different words for love, which help us to see love from different perspectives.

Philia: this is the type of love that exist between family members and friend, its also known as brotherly love. It can easily exist between any two persons who share the same values and respect each other. It can grow through long and intimate(information consider as personal) conversation, by trusting each other, by gifts and a helping hand in times of need.

Storge: this is the love that exist between parents and children or long friendship. It easily exist through acceptance and deep emotional connection between parents and children. You can grow it through care, sacrifice time and resources and words of love.

Eros: this is the love that exist between husband and wife. It involves romantic emotions and passion. It grows when both respect each other, submissive, understand the love language of each other and admires each other

Agape: this is the unconditional love, no matter the circumstance nor how you feel. It is not selective. It exist among those who fear God. It can grow when you dedicate your life in loving and improving the lives of others, offers your best to the good of mankind and stay true to Jesus.

Of all these words used for love, the recommended love for a child of God is Agape. This love is shed abroad in our heart by the HolySpirit (Romans 5:8) and its not selfish or greedy. According to 1 Cor 13, this love does not rejoice in iniquity, it is patient, kind, it’s not proud or boastful or envious, not rude, not jealous, it never gives up, endures all things, believes all things. It never fails. You can only learn and access this kind of love from Jesus.

Love is the brightest light in the spirit, the greatest virtue and Christian identity. The fruit of the spirit is Love (Gal 2:22). Love is a proof that you have accepted Christ and believes the word of God. You have to take side, to be sure that you are on the agape love, the God kind of love. What the world calls love is fake and often demonic. It is only when we have accepted the Love of Christ that we can love without motives.

How can I know that I am in true love

Loveis one of the things that everybody professes. And if you are not careful, youcan be caught up in the mixed multitude. To verify if your love relationship istrue and genuine, below are suggested ways.

·       The love relationship should be founded inChrist

·       Your hatred for sin and iniquity shouldincrease as the relationship moves forward

·       Your love for righteousness shouldincrease and your desire for God

·       Romantic emotions should not be thedriving force of the relationship.

·       The relationship should be void of selfishambitions and manipulations

&l

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