Once a year, stores begin to fill up with red and pink decorations, heart-shaped candy and sappy cards. Social media feeds fill up with cheesy photos and the smiling faces of couples and families. Restaurants book and fill up with reservations. After all, February 14th is a day dedicated to love.
However, love is not designed to be a kept within the bounds of one day and it is much deeper than the love portrayed by candy hearts. For those who are Christians, leading a life of love is the design, not just in romantic relationships but in all our relationships and interactions. Our actions should point to Jesus and his word and overflow with love.
In This Blog:
Because He First Loved Us
“We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19, NIV
Why should we love? The answer is really not so complex. As Christians and followers of Jesus, we love because he loves us. Can we ever love in the same way as Jesus? No, not on our own but we can strive to love because he first loved us. We can rely on him to help us love, because we will fall short on our own. We should lean into and trust God.
Without God we cannot truly love others. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” There’s no doubt about it, loving other people is hard and even seems impossible at times. However, as Christians we have an identity rooted in Christ, rooted in love.
Because of God’s love for us, we have an example of what love should be. Our love for him should be our top priority in our lives. At times the love of other things can take precedent over this. Perhaps, it’s the love of ourselves, our career, our possessions, our favorite celebrities, our comfort or our achievements. No matter what it may be, our love for God should come first and precede anything else in our lives.
Do Everything in Love
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” — 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NIV
What does it mean to lead a life of love and do everything in love? It means our thoughts, words and actions are about more than ourselves. They are about bringing glory to God and loving those who are in our lives.
In every situation and in every action, we should consider how we can glorify others and love him. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Doing everything in love requires us to shift our focus off of ourselves and sacrifice our own desires for others.
Developing Love in Our Lives
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” — Romans 13:8, NIV
Developing love in our lives often does not happen overnight. It takes time and prayer. Loving others is not always our natural reaction, so we have to build habits of love and putting others at places of importance in our lives. We will most definitely mess up along the way, but we can lean into God’s forgiveness and grace and seek a life of love every day.
Lead a life of love at Grand Canyon University (GCU). GCU offers theology and ministry degree programs that can help you deepen your faith and pursue a career that works for you. Explore online or on-campus degree programs.
Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Feb. 8, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.