What is Love: Sacrificing

Love is not about being showered with pink-and-red-and-white everything; it’s about giving more than you receive every day of the year.

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It comes around once a year, that dreaded ol’ February 14th. Sometimes, it sneaks up and catches people off-guard. Other times, it blatantly stares people in the face as they wait anxiously for it to arrive. After all is said and done, Valentine’s Day either serves as a pushy bullhorn to all of society that we are to be spoiled and doted on if we are loved by our spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, etc., or it serves as a nagging buzz in our ears, reminding us we are lonely and unwanted. At least, that’s what we have let it become. But what if none of this Valentine’s Day hoopla has anything to do with real love?


With each milestone in life, generations have learned various definitions of love and how it looks. They go from one expectation to another, often getting let down if their realities don’t meet the standards set by their peers. Around Valentine’s Day, sales for candy hearts, chocolates, and flowers are at their all-time high. Everyone makes a big deal about significant others buying stuff so they can show off to their friends.

As young children, it felt like Valentine’s Day was a silly fantasy about having someone with which to share little cards and “I like you. Do you like me? Check yes or no” moments. We fawned over the cute stuffed bears with plushy hearts in their paws that beckoned to us on the aisles of every store. At school, giggles here and shy smiles there, it was elementary “love.”

When we reached middle school, Valentine’s Day grew into a fad of feeling incomplete. If you didn’t have someone to “date,” you weren’t popular or able to properly function inside of a clique. Crushes went from passing notes to texting and making prank phone calls over the years, and “I love you” was thrown around as if it carried no weight at all.

High school raised the bar for what became known as VDay; kids were beginning to drive and pick up their significant others, movie tickets in hand. Those previously mentioned candy hearts, chocolates, and flowers were no joke and meant a serious relationship was stirring. In today’s time, it’s bloomed into pampering with spa days and mani/pedis or fancy bling (cars, diamonds, you name it). On further speculation, it seems that the pressure of the holiday has fallen more on men’s shoulders, too.

What we usually fail to realize in the swirl of “love” season is that these aren’t accurate reflections of love at all. Are they nice gestures? Absolutely. Can they be the result of a deeper-rooted love? You bet. But is VDay worth feeling defeated or rejected if you don’t have someone gushing over you every second? Not in the slightest.


Because Jesus painted an immaculate picture of what Valentine’s Day should represent.


True love is sacrificing. It’s choosing to do what’s best, especially when it’s hard. It’s giving up what’s convenient and sometimes what may seem like amazing doors of opportunity. When you give up your own desires in order to fulfill someone else’s or in order to have someone’s back, you are a representation of the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Jesus followed the will and desire of His Father for humanity, laying down all other options placed in front of Him. Don’t forget that Satan offered Him some tempting alternatives (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus gave up His life and died for us. It couldn’t have been easy. It definitely wasn’t fun. Regardless, He knew it was the best decision. Even though we were so undeserving, He resolved it was well-worth sacrificing Himself so that we could be restored from sin (John 3:16).

Now, I’m not saying that we should immediately jump in front of a train for our loved ones, but the Word of God reminds us that a man’s greatest form of love is his willingness to lay down his life for his friend just as Jesus did for us (John 15:13). Love is deeper than materialistic gifts or a holiday that only takes up one day on a calendar. It’s not about being showered with pink-and-red-and-white everything; it’s about giving more than you receive every day of the year. God blesses and honors those who are faithful to serve and love others, and sometimes, the greatest way to feel love is to share it.

If you ever start to doubt whether or not you are loved and cherished, just imagine the scars on the hands and feet of Jesus. Realize you are worthy of all the love in the world. And no candy hearts, chocolates, or flowers will ever measure up to how jealous our loving Savior is for you.



Featured Image by Brooke Lark

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About the Author

Becca is a gentle soul who seeks the best in the world and in others. She is easily touched by the beauty of books, music, and art. Though she aspires to write as eloquently as Emily Dickinson or Lang Leav, she hopes to make her own mark on the world one day. She dreams of leaving behind a voice that sparks creativity, imagination, hope, love, joy, and faith.