What’s love got to do with it?

I read recently that February has long been regarded as a romantic month.  Personally I find it hard to see why. Like January, it’s dank, cold and wet. Everything still looks bare. It’s another winter month to be endured.  Yet in the middle of it all is that great celebration: “Valentines Day.

Just as Christmas is supposed to bring out the good in us, Valentines Day is supposed to bring out the romantic in us. Florists and chocolate shops do a roaring trade.   The champagne shelf at Aldi is stripped bare.  For those who can afford it romantic dinners are booked in expensive candlelit restaurants. For others it’s a takeaway and “Love Actually” on the telly.

All of this made me reflect on the question, “What is true love”? In her song “”What’s love got to do with it”, Tina Turner describes love as “a sweet old fashioned notion”. Many of us enjoy romantic comedies, but  I often think when I watch them that they always end with the couple walking off into their own perfect sunset. We don’t see the bit where they’re arguing over whose turn it is to wash the dishes or put the bins out.  That early period when we fall in love at the beginning is so fantastic.  We never want to be out of  each other’s company. We hardly notice any imperfections and if we do we just think they’re “cute”.  Yet we all know that this period doesn’t last and to be frank it can’t.  You can’t live on a high. There comes an inevitable period of humdrum when in a sense couples need to adjust to the reality of living together.  That’s the real moment when you find out whether what you have is true love. The Beatles captured it well when they asked”

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

In the bible the word most often used for love is “Agape.” It is a self sacrificial love that thinks nothing of the giver, but only the receiver. There is no selfish motivation in this love. It is the love that God shows to us if we will receive it. It cares neither for looks, talent or wealth. It simply loves because it loves and it never stops loving.

Now there’s a Valentine’s message.