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February 14, 2013

MAY: A love not proud

It is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. And in the roses. And in the chocolates. And in the greeting cards with the little seal on the back of the envelope. It is difficult to turn anywhere without seeing hearts and Cupid’s arrows.

But for some of us who don’t have Valentines, this day can be a painful quandary. For some of us, it is a day that is celebrated with Valentine number three … or four … or five. When we peel back the layers of money and the fragrance of flowers and the dreams of romance, we are left wondering if there could be a love deeper than what is portrayed on television or etched on the pages of books. We hope to find a love that will last longer than the romantic movie. We long for a love of another kind.

In the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians — a passage often quoted in wedding ceremonies — the Bible describes that different kind of love as a love not proud. At first glance, it seems to go without saying. How could love be proud? We think of a proud person as a boastful one and there just isn’t much about love that would be boastful. Unless of course, we have bought into the teaching of the culture that says the one I love must be beautiful, successful or wealthy. I love a person because I can boast of the object of my affection.

Maybe love is even boastful when we consider the ways that we express love. 

“Did you like my gift best?”

“I do all these things for you day in and day out, doesn’t that show how much I love you?” 

We are tempted to fiddle the day away with Tevye as we wait for our Goldie to answer the question, “Do you love me?” We are disheartened when she answers, “Do I what?!”

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