It's Valentine's Day, if you hadn't heard. This is a day when you're supposed to express your love for another person. Valentine's Day is the ultimate definition of eros love. It isn't agape love, which is something quite different.
Eros love is based on feelings. Agape love is selfless. It is defined, indeed it is modeled, by none other than God Himself.
Agape love is not conditional. It doesn't flow from the perceived value or appearance of another person. It flows from the heart of the one doing the loving.
Paul writes of this kind of love in 1 Corinthians 13, what is called the "love chapter." He describes what real, selfless agape love looks like. Patient and kind are among its attributes. It is very difficult for any fallen human to live up to that standard. But God does. Always. He is the model and we are better for it because it gives us something for which to strive.
So give the flowers, card and candy, but remember, that isn't real love. As Jesus said, God is love, because even while we were sinners, He sent Jesus to die for us.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Publication date: February 14, 2012