Love can be defined as strong affection for another; attraction based on strong desire; or affection based on admiration.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, some of us are excited as we prepare for our date night, some of us are saddened because we don’t want to go on a date; but we feel obliged to; some of us feel irritable because we will not have a date; some of us are planning an evening with our closest friends; and quite frankly some of us just don’t care.

Whether you are married, dating, single, divorced, separated, or widowed–one thing we have in common is the understanding that this week’s theme is LOVE. This is the time of year in which many stores are decorated with the color red, we see heart shaped candies, card isle adorned with I LOVE YOU’s and stuffed animals with red hearts attached to them. Most of us begin to think about LOVE- what it means to us, who we love, and how to express it. It is also probably safe to say that everyone reading the blog today has experienced love- given it,received it, felt victimized by misuse of it, used it to be manipulative, needed it, and/or felt abandoned by the lack of it. It’s also easy for many of us to point to others when they don’t express it well.

For today’s post, as we explore love, I want us to be introspective and dissect 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 line by line by turning each phrase into a statement.

Make a list of 3-5 people that are the closest to you, go through the series of questions below, and place their name in the blank.
1. I am patient with _____________.
2. I am kind to ________________.
3. I am sincere about _____________’s successes.
4. I don’t brag to ____________ about life.
5. I am respectful towards ______________ and I do not use he/she as my stepping stone.
6. I am polite towards _________________.
7. I am compromising with _____________.
8. I don’t allow myself to get annoyed with ______________ easily.
9. I don’t remind ___________ of what they have done wrong.
10. I don’t laugh or chuckle when __________ experiences misfortune.
11. I am truthful to ________________.
12. I am not critical or judging towards _______________.
13. I believe in _____________.
14. I expect the best for ______________.
15. I will never give up on ______________.

Now go back and replace the blank with others and my/myself.

After going through this exercise it is quite evident that I need to work on my love for others and myself. Hopefully what you’ve learned is what I learned LOVE is an action and not merely an emotion; although it can feel emotional.

At the conclusion of this post, GOD suggested that I place you/your in each blank, as if he was talking directly to me. As I read through each line as if GOD was talking to me, I felt this overwhelming sense of comfort. My goodness- GOD never fails us. His love is so unconditional. This week as you are preparing for Valentine’s day, I challenge you to think about who you love and how you are loving them. If there are areas that you can change immediately, make the changes- you will feel better in doing so.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dear GOD,

Thank you so much for expressing unconditional love to me. Thank you for showing me how to love and thank you for giving me the tools I need to become more loving. When I am falling short of loving others, please humble me so that I can immediately correct my behavior. I want to love others, myself, and you more. Please show me how.

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored #itstimeforachange#anewyou