“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians  5:25).
     Thursday is Valentine’s Day!  All over America cards, flowers, plush animals, jewelry and candy are being given as an indication of a man’s love for his sweetheart and vice-versa.  Certainly, these sentimental gifts will tug at the emotions and cause both the giver and receiver to tingle with that special feeling of knowing someone cares for them.
     The expression of love that exists between man and woman is difficult to define in words.  Some define love as a need of another’s companionship.  Some define it as the height of ecstasy when in the presence of that special one.  Still another will say that love is the feeling of never wanting to live without the one you have chosen.  And the list goes on and on.  To those of us who have been married for some time, we may define love as a matter of our mate being the one who completes our life.  Of course, we know that love expresses itself in many ways.  Usually, the character and integrity of a person will reveal the true measure of love for another.  Love will not be violent and self-centered, but rather understanding, caring, tender and kind.
    Love, in the truest sense, can be found in the Bible, where there are evidences, examples and expressions of love.  In the lives of humans, we find all too often that love is more or less in the position of assuming.  Token gifts are given as an indicator of inner feelings, and yet, these tokens are not given with regularity or real passion.  Can a box of candy or a furry stuffed animal adequately express or convey what is in the heart?  Even the receiver of the gift may at times wonder within themselves why they didn’t receive a more expensive gift.  Is that love?  First Corinthians 13:5 says love “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”  Love that is true should never be questioned nor doubted by either party.
     When the Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25), we find the example, expression, and evidence of love in its purest sense. Christ’s love is our example:  He loves us without any strings attached whatsoever.  His love for us is not dependent on who we are (or who we are not).  No, His love was dependent on what He wants to do for us—save us from our sin (cf 2 Corinthians 5:21).  We also see the evidence of Christ’s love.  “He gave Himself for us.”  That means He died for us.  He did something we couldn’t do to give us something we didn’t deserve (cf Romans 6:23).  Finally, we see the expression of Christ’s love.  The word “expression” deals primarily with a token gift that reassures the receiver of the genuineness of the giver’s purpose, i.e. “love.” This gift concerns two things, first, our standing as children of God, and second, our destination—Heaven as our future, eternal home.
     Jesus said the words plain and clear when He stated, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Husband, do you love your wife as Christ loved us?  Does she feel the sincerity and genuineness of your love?  If not, you need to make some changes that will convince her that your love is real.
                                                                                                                        Pastor H. Preston Parker