Valentine’s Day–What’s the Mark of True Love?

How real is love? Valentine’s Day is a good time to assess how much we love both our significant others and our God. The definitive mark of true love is willing sacrifice. 


Every relationship has some element of sacrifice, but what’s the attitude behind it? Is it out of coercion, a sense of “ought,” or joy?


The depth of God’s love for us is marked by the willingness of Jesus, God himself, to come to earth, become man, live among us, and die a cruel death on the cross carrying the ugliness of our sins and those of the world. “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).


So the question is—how well do we die to our own desires and preferences for those we say we love? 


When I begin to resent things that I do or don’t do because of my husband, that attitude reveals a lack of love. Do I happily attend events, movies, or sporting events that I am not interested in if he is? Do I willingly give up time he could spend with me so he gets to do something he loves? Do I offer to help him happily? Do I really listen to the blow by blow of how he played every stroke of his round of golf? My answers would often be yes, but there are times when they would be no. 

What about God? Do I say I love him with my mouth while my actions and attitudes prove otherwise? Do I really love someone whom I ignore much of the time? How well do I dig into his Word so I hear his voice? How much of myself do I sacrifice in time, money, and priority for Christ and his kingdom? In some of these areas I do better than others, but I have a long way to go to really sacrifice for God. So how real and how deep is my devotion?


As we look forward to Valentine’s Day tomorrow, let’s consider giving them more of ourselves by sacrificing.

Kay is a life-long Texan whose favorites are Tex-Mex, books that feed her soul or make her think, good movies and travel to new places. Her great joy is to serve God by teaching the Bible and developing women as servant-leaders. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries, which provides free videos, podcasts and articles as well as low-cost Bible studies to prepare Christian women for leadership. (beyondordinarywomen.org) Kay spent ten years leading women’s ministries on church staffs, most recently at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Kay is the author of From Ordinary Woman to Spiritual Leader: Grow your Influence, a practical guide to help Christian women influence others by applying foundational leadership skills to their lives and ministries, and a number of Bible studies for women, some are available at bible.org and the newer ones are found at beyondordinarywomen.org. Kay earned an M.A.C.E. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Effective Ministries to Women. Kay’s family includes a husband, two grown children, one son-in-law, two hysterical granddaughters and a Goldendoodle.