Summary: This sermon explores our experience with Love and emphasizes the standard for love, God's love.
In just a few days, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, or St. Valentine’s Day.
A made up Holiday by the candy, flower, and greeting card industry designed to make husbands and boyfriends feel guilty and penniless.
From what I see every Valentine’s Day, the restaurant and jewelry industries are in on it too.
Just exactly what do we celebrate on Valentine’s Day? Ask any female over the age of 13 and they will probably tell you Love.
Ask any guy over the age of 15 and he will probably tell you it’s about separating him from his money.
All kidding aside, I do believe the ladies get the better end of the deal. If she forgets Valentine’s Day, the guy would probably be doing the happy dance, if he forgets Valentine’s Day, she will be dancing on his head.
I will say this, and I hope most of you men agree, I don’t need some made up holiday to show my love for my wife. A good husband should do that every day.
So, I got to thinking about love, how we define it, how we experience it, and what it really means. All of us have different lives, different experiences, so I looked back over my life and thought about my experiences with love.
When I say love in the context of my life, I am not referring to the over trivialization of the term, like: I love pizza, or I love football, or I love airplanes… well, perhaps I do love airplanes, but that is a one sided affair.
So when I speak of love in a serious manner, I do so with regard to relationships.
1. My very first relationship that was built on love would have to be my mother. I can still remember her tucking me into bed when I was a little boy.
I still remember her taking care of me when I was sick, I still remember her baking me birthday cakes, and I still remember her loving me even when I wasn’t very lovable.
A mother’s love, as I experienced it, was one of caring, compassion, and forgiveness.
Then there was the love of my father. That love took many forms. From my daddy I learned that there were expectations on my behavior, not that his love was contingent on my actions, but that his love compelled me to behave certain ways.
He loved me enough to teach me responsibility, accountability, and a proper work ethic. His love also taught me the meaning of discipline and the consequences of my bad behavior.
Together, my parents, and grandparents, demonstrated all of the attributes of God’s love.
Jesus tells us about his relationship with His Father in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does in like manner.”
If a parent is doing their job, then the love they demonstrate for their children should be a prototype or a reflection of God’s love for us.
That’s why the job we do in parenting our children is so important. As parents, we are to model the love of God to our children.
2. As I remember it, my second experience in love would be from my brother. When we were kids, we did everything together. Tim was my “big brother” and we had all sorts of adventures together.
Sure we fought and had disagreements, but at the end of the day, momma tucked us into bed together and we were friends again. As a child, I don’t ever remember going to bed mad at him.
Now, that all changed when he became a teenager and seemingly overnight, he forgot I existed. That attitude persisted until one night while I was stationed in Pensacola; he called me and asked me to be his best man at his wedding.
My first response we, who is this and what have you done with my brother? Even though we never showed it though our teenage years, the bond we shared as children was never broken. He was also the best man at my wedding.
Hebrews 13;1 says, “let brotherly love continue.” True brotherly love will always continue, even when we fight, even when we have disagreements. Why, because we are brothers, or sisters.
3. My next life experience with what would be considered love would be what we commonly refer to as puppy love.
All of us, and probably most of the teenagers and pre-teens here have experienced “puppy love,” our first “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationship. We are so smitten and what we think will last forever usually burns out in two to four weeks.
That usually or always leads to our first unpleasant experience with the emotion associated with love. Whether we are the one doing the dumping or the one getting dumped, it is a very unpleasant first experience with something associated with the feeling of love.