According to one news report, Americans are expected to spend around $24 billion this Valentine’s Day, and the average person will spend approximately $175 on flowers, candy and other popular Valentine’s Day gifts. How much will you spend?
As I reflect on the staggering figures, I wonder how much of this splurging is the result of true love and how much is just, well, ritual? Don’t get me wrong. If a man loves a woman and he can afford to give her a million- dollar diamond, I see nothing wrong with that. But if it’s just because he can afford it and deep down inside he doesn’t really care, why go to such extravagant lengths?
I don’t know what Valentine’s Day spending was like in previous years, but reports suggest that this year, with the pandemic slowly declining, more people will go out on a date to celebrate their love. Which brings me to a touching story I came across in my devotional reading this morning. It goes like this:
An elderly couple met and fell in love. Even though they lived in separate countries, a mere fifteen minutes away, they cooked meals and spent time together every day. Then came the pandemic, and the borders were closed. Still, the couple met at the border every day at a specified time. They stayed in their lane and shared a picnic. Nothing can quench love, not even a pandemic.
Other touching stories emerged about love in action during the pandemic. In Italy, we saw residents opening their windows and singing to cheer each other up. We saw relatives drive by, honk their horns and wave to an elderly man celebrating his birthday. While we were forced to stay in our homes, we kept in touch with friends and loved ones through Zoom hook-ups and telephone calls. That is what love is all about.
Love is more than flushed cheeks, sweaty palms and palpitating hearts. It’s acting on that love. Going out of your way to show others that you care. And the wonderful thing about love is that it benefits the giver as well as the recipient.
The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, most of the Bible is God’s love letter to His people. He loves us with an unconditional love. We don’t have to do anything for Him to love us. He loves us because it’s His nature to love. And Jesus commands us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13: 34-35
So today, if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day and wondering how you can show love, let me leave you with these words from 1 Corinthians 13: 4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment in the box below.