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By Guest Editorial Patti McKern
Pastor Centerville Community Church 

Time to revisit the meaning of love this Valentine's Day


February 13, 2019

February has arrived and with it comes the many reminders about love. There will be numerous commercials on the radio and television, full color ads that arrive in your mailbox, and gentle (and maybe not-so-subtle) reminders from your valentine.

We use the word “love” so often and with such varying degrees of depth and meaning, don’t we? I love pizza! I love my dog! I love my new Instant Pot! I love my husband, daughter, son, or ______ (fill in the blank). Is it possible we’ve overused this word? Has it lost some of its value and meaning?

We’ve seen many things that were supposedly done in the name of love, some astonishingly wonderful, and some incredibly hurtful and damaging.

And yet, healthy love—true love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13—paints a picture of a love that everyone wants to experience. Healthy love is patient and kind, not rude or jealous, not boastful and proud, not demanding its own way, not irritable, and (amazingly) unwilling to keep a record of wrongs.

Healthy love does what’s best for others, which means it learns when to say “no” as well as when to say “yes.” And—equally important—how to respect other’s responses of “no” and “yes.” Love means taking the focus off myself and shining the light on another’s needs and wants.

Discovering the world doesn’t revolve around me is a lesson best learned early in life. Finding joy in putting others first and learning empathy for those around who are hurting: this is real love in action! It sounds easy written down here, I know. But small steps every day in the right direction set us off on a journey that is worthwhile. Holding back the words that are unnecessarily hurtful, refusing to pass on stories that cause others to look bad, setting aside time earmarked for myself in order to serve another—small steps in a worthwhile direction!

I pray this February, this Valentine’s Day, finds us willing to continue modeling this real and healthy love on those that surround us. Join me as we start a revolution of love here in our small community that astonishes!


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