How to Love Others Well — Carol McLeod Ministries

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 

Let me take you on a Valentine’s journey created to reinvigorate your heart toward this day of hearts, roses and gift-giving to those you love. 

Do you remember those Valentine Boxes we used to make in Elementary School?   

I remember carefully decorating those sweet boxes with shades of pink and red in the days leading up to February 14.  I recall painstakingly printing my name in bold letters across the top of that important box and then deeply hoping for a Valentine from at least a few friends among my classmates. 

As the years went by, I realized that Valentine’s Day was not actually about how many cheap cards were placed in a shoe box … but the value of this day was found in my ability to love and to be loved.   

When that realization took hold … the holiday known as “St. Valentine’s Day” became a day for me to learn how to love others well. 

I realized that February 14 would either present a greater and deeper significance for me - or it would thoughtlessly be kicked to the corner of my heart. 

I have learned some Valentine’s lessons over the February’s of my life … and perhaps they will bring you some delight this year. Whether you are 16 or 96 ... here is my Valentine advice during this week that celebrates love and all that it entails: 

If you are happily married ... wholeheartedly love your spouse today.  Live with no regrets.  Love your husband or wife with reckless and complete abandon. Treat your spouse with extra special attention on this day that was made to honor “love” and “romance”.  This need not cost a lot … but it may require a lot of creativity and affection. 

If you are a wife – prepare your husband’s favorite meal for him ... watch his favorite movie with him ... find a copy of “your song” and play it for him first thing in the morning.   

If you are a husband - get up early and make coffee for her ... leave her a note on the dashboard of the car or on the bathroom mirror ... make the bed and do the dishes without being asked! 

If you are still waiting for your prince charming ... allow yourself to find fulfillment in the heart of the One Who knows you best and loves you the most.  Even after you are married, Jesus should still be your First Love!  It is so important for single women to “wait well” during these days of single living.  

While you are in the days or years of waiting, determine to serve others and to become the best “you” that you can be.   

Go on missions’ trips!   

Teach Sunday School!   

Invite others over for dinner!   

Baby-sit for free!   

Prepare to run a marathon!   

Take an extra class at college or at church!   

Tell your pastor that you are available to serve your local church!   

Women and men who “wait well” seldom “wait long” for fulfillment because they find satisfaction not in being loved but in the absolute delight of loving others well! 

If you have found yourself “suddenly single” due to rejection or divorce ... know that you serve a God Who will never leave you or forsake you.  Do not build a wall around your broken heart but allow God to heal those broken places inside of you.   

Pray with other singles and spend time with a mentor.   

Join a Bible Study and allow your soul to flourish in the fertilization of the power of the Word of God.   

Reject bitterness and embrace His power and His joy. 

If necessary – go see a trusted counselor who is well-qualified to help you deal with the layers of your pain. 

Determine every day you will make someone’s day better. 

If you are a widow ... it’s OK to enjoy a sweet memory or two ... but then choose to give to someone else today.  Perhaps you could babysit for a young couple so they could go out to dinner.  If you are not able to do that ... slip a young couple $10 or $20 so they can go out and enjoy the days they have been given to cultivate a lasting marriage. 

Personally …I don’t believe that celebrating love should merely be confined to Valentine’s Day, do you? 

We should love others with reckless abandon all the other 364 days of the year!   

God has placed us here at this time in history to reveal His fruits to the world in which we live and love is at the top of the list. 

 “We love because He first loved us.” – I John 4:19 

So … for us … who know Love Himself, perhaps every day should be Valentine’s Day! 

Perhaps every day on the calendar should be celebrated as an opportunity to give love to a lonely, hurting world. 

“But now, faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” - I Corinthians 13:13

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!  

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