How do I love thee?

Ah, the season of love! Around a billion Valentine’s Day cards will be sent. On average, men spend around $108 for gifts, women about $50. 20% of Americans will buy some Valentine’s-related gift for their pets. Familiar themes of ads will remind us that it’s still not too late to order flowers, buy jewelry, select chocolates – we all know, every kiss begins with kash.

Witness one romantic’s love message:

“O, my darling! I would swim the deepest ocean, climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest prairie, dare the driest desert, brave the fiercest storm, penetrate the darkest jungle that I might be found in your exquisite presence to cover your hands and face with my adoring kisses!

P.S. I will come over Friday if it doesn’t rain.

Lighten up, Romeo. Love is certainly more than a one-day spend fest or an avalanche of sappy sentiment. Love can be hard work. Love can mean heart-breaking service and sacrifice. Love can be rejected or trashed. However, love is the most powerful force in the world.

J.B. Phillips captured the essence of love reflected in Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

“Love is slow to lose patience; it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive; it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it shares the joy of those who live by the truth. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

To bring this to a close, why don’t we turn to the love experts?

  • Glenn, age 7: “If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”
  • John, 9: “Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.”
  • Mae, 9: No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.”
  • Tom, 5: “Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.”

Whatever your views on love, I hope you experience love, appreciate love, demonstrate love. I hope it isn’t just a day on the calendar but a way of life.

This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged , , , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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