A Valentine’s Day memory reminds me to embrace and share God’s gift of love.
A Special Memory
My favorite Valentine’s Day gift is the one my daughter gave to me when she was seven. While we were shopping, I spied a black sweater vest with embroidered hearts of various colors. I noticed it because we elementary teachers enjoyed wearing cheery shirts and sweaters on special days.
After I tried on the vest, I checked the price tag and returned the garment to the rack. My daughter responded, “Mommy, why did you put it back? It looks beautiful on you.”
“Honey, it costs too much,” I responded, “and I could only wear it one day each year. It’s just not practical.”
On February fourteenth I unwrapped a gift and pulled aside pink tissue paper. Tyler Marie’s smile was wider than mine.
After our shopping trip, she’d sequestered her dad and pleaded, “Please, Daddy, help me buy the heart vest for Mommy. I don’t have enough money, but it’s really pretty, and it will look beautiful on her.”
Within minutes, they’d driven to the store and returned with a secret package which she wrapped and hid under her bed. She then presented it to me on Valentine’s Day. I knew she loved me prior to receiving her gift, but she demonstrated her love by putting it into action.
Tyler Marie had observed what delighted me and enlisted her dad’s help to make a purchase that exceeded her piggy bank’s balance. Her love was abundant, and her resources paltry, however, she knew—compared to her supply—her dad had plenty.
How We Feel and What Jesus Says
Our feelings of love are sometimes paltry—especially when other people disappoint us or act in unbecoming ways. We’re sometimes reluctant to demonstrate love, and we’re tempted to withhold expressions of love when they’re unappreciated or not reciprocated.
If we focus on our feelings of love (or lack thereof), we may be reluctant to obey a commandment of Jesus.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.John 15:12 ESV (All Bible verses in this post are from the ESV.)
I stopped to ponder this part of His words: “…as I have loved you.”
He also said,
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.John 14:15
One of the ways we demonstrate our love for God is by obedience, and one way to obey Him is to embrace His love and love others as He loves us. We can comply only by trusting the Holy Spirit to grow the fruit of love in our hearts (Galatians 5:22). Mustering love on our own cannot measure up to the standard of Jesus, “as I have loved you.”
God’s love is undeserved. It’s based on His lovingkindness, not our behavior. As Christ-followers, our expressions of love to others are based on His lovingkindness and unconditional love.
Although we lack unconditional love, our Father holds a storehouse, and He fills our hearts with His love—not to store, but to share.
Although we lack unconditional love, our Father holds a storehouse, and He fills our hearts with His love—not to store, but to share. Click To Tweet
As our daughter did, we can turn to our Father when our love supply is inadequate. The One who turned water into wine and fed multitudes with two fish and five loaves of bread can supply all we need to obey His commandments—even the charge to love as He loves.
Put on Love and Put Love into Action
His Word doesn’t teach us to love based on our feelings or our ability. Instead, the Bible teaches us to “put on love” among other virtues.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.Colossians 3:14
Once we surrender our lives to Christ, His love resides in our hearts, but we choose our behavior on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We choose to “put on love,” to align our behavior with the love of Jesus that resides in our hearts.
On Valentine’s Day this year, I’ll put on my heart-covered vest and remember my daughter’s love. Each day, let’s embrace God’s love by putting on the love of Christ and translating His love into action by sharing it with others.
Let’s embrace God’s love by putting on the love of Christ and translating His love into action by sharing it with others. Click To Tweet
Love in action may lead to a gift or a card with a verse of Scripture or perhaps to an account of how God’s love has changed our lives. Maybe we’ll wrap God’s love with encouraging words and acts of kindness as He points us toward the needs of others.
As we notice the plethora of hearts this season, let’s remember what Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Please share your thoughts about how embracing God’s love and choosing to put on love each day can help us share His love with others. How has someone shared God’s love with you?
More reading about sharing God’s love with others:
1. For a Valentine’s Day post with a list of “one another” verses, click the link to Marilyn Nutter’s post on marilynnutter.com.
Valentine’s Day & Love One Another Verses by Marilyn Nutter
2. For a post about using our gifts to meet the needs of others, click the link to Linda Lyle’s post on lindalyle.com.
Gifts by Linda Lyle on The End of My Yarn
33 thoughts on “How Can We Embrace God’s Love and Share It with Others?”
Great reminder that God loves me even when it is undeserved and I am called to do the same. My love for others is not contingent on a behavior on their part!
What important points you made, Jana. We do well to remember God’s love is undeserved, yet we sometimes expect reciprocal love from others. I love this statement in your comments: “My love for others is not contingent on a behavior on their part!” Amen. God’s love is unconditional. I appreciate you reading and commenting.
I needed this today Jeannie. Thanks for the reminder to go to the One whose love supply is greater than my own.
I often need this reminder, too, Terri. I’m glad God provided the message for you when you needed it. Yes, His love supply is the only reason we can love well. I appreciate your comments so much.
I love this real life example of a love that needed a father’s help to share it. Oh, how this describes the never-enough love in my heart that I desperately want to share with others. Thanks for reminding me that God is always willing to fill my reservoir up so it can splash over onto others.
Lori, I love your comment, “God is always willing to fill my reservoir up so it can splash over onto others.” What a beautiful picture of sharing His love. You’re right about our “never-enough” love. How grateful I am that God fills our hearts with love for Him and other people. Thanks for joining the conversation.
What a beautiful memory! I can just picture your joy, and that of your daughter, when you opened her beautiful gift. The scripture you share tells it like it is–Jesus reminds us to love others as He loves us. Wow! We know that’s impossible, yet when we do our very best what a difference we can make! I yearn for a world where we truly love one another. Thanks so much for inspiring us today.
Katherine, thank you for your kind comments. I smile each year when I see the vest. You’re right that we can’t love well without His love in our hearts. He helps us see others as He does and truly love them.
“Love” your examples. The idea that we put on love tells us we wear it for others to see. Thanks for a”lovely” post.
I’m glad you liked the examples, Marilyn. What a privilege is ours to share the love of Jesus with others. Thanks so much for your comments.
Jeannie, although the vest is perfect for Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to wear it whenever you are inspired to do so, since love is always in style. I love your old sweater and all that it represents!
Not only does God have a limitless reservoir of love to help us love, He also has unlimited resources to meet needs when we want to but can’t. We can ask our Father, as Tyler did, to please meet their needs. And sometimes He will–through us or through someone else or simply through divine intervention.
What an important message you wrapped up in this gift of a post for us. I need to be quick to forgive so I can be quick to love.
Right you are, Candyce that we all need to be quick to forgive and quick to love. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.
This is so touching and I know that memory and gift will always be with you. I love the picture of you wearing the vest. I know that also sparks a memory in your daughter. Her thoughtfulness and sacrifice expresses the love of God.
Barbara, I’m glad you enjoyed this memory post. God leads us to give and love as He does.
I love your story, especially because my mom is a retired elementary teacher and had so many fun sweaters and necklaces herself. I agree with Glenda — wear that vest whenever you’re happy or want to make someone else happy! I’m sure seeing you wear it makes others smile. And it makes our God smile, too.
What a great point, Leigh. Your comment made me think when we put on Christ as Scripture commands, others will see His character in us.
Glenda, I love this point you made: “Not only does God have a limitless reservoir of love to help us love, He also has unlimited resources to meet needs when we want to but can’t. “ Amen. We do what we can with resources He gives us and trust Him to provide the rest. I like your suggestion to wear my sweater vest more often because “Love is always in style. “ Indeed it is.
What a heart-warming story, Jeannie! I can learn so much from the fact that your daughter ran to Daddy to bolster her meager supply. I’m reminded I can only truly love others if God gives me His love.
Yes, Annie, that’s a good reminder you shared—we can only truly love and serve with His supply. Thank you.
Happy Valentines Day Ms. Jeannie; may yours be filled with the love of family and friends ma’am. What a great post, and wonderful lesson of what God’s love looks like when put into action. Yes, what your precious daughter did was an act of love. What her daddy did was an act of godly love. He took for his storehouse of love for both of you and showered it upon his daughter so that she might be able to fully express her love to you. I feel like the mythical Grinch this morning ma’am; I think it may have grown three times its size. God’s blessings ma’am.
Thanks so much for your kind words, J.D. God waits for us to turn to Him that He can enable us to love. What a blessing to serve as a conduit of His love to others.
Love in action. Amen.
Yes, Melissa. Whether we’re called to pray or serve, putting God’s love into action blesses others. Thank you for faithfully reading and commenting.
What a sweet story of your daughter’s loving gift! And it gives us so many lessons about love and the fact that when we don’t seem to have enough our Heavenly Father will help us with an abundant supply, just as your husband did for your daughter! You look great in your heart vest! As an elementary teacher, I, too, had shirts and sweaters for different holidays! It’s fun to remember that! I wore my giraffe socks the other day when a class drew giraffes!
I love the idea of giraffe socks. We’re kindred spirits. I agree that God fills us with His love and all we need to minister to others as I’m sure you do with your students. Thanks, Kathy.
What a sweet, beautiful and tender example of love in action. Thank you for sharing this story. It’s a a great reminder for us to look for God’s love all around us every day… in others, in studying His Word, in nature, in the precious gift of life itself and in your love for your followers persuasively reminding us of how much love is around us in all things big and small.
Mala, your comments warmed my heart. It’s a blessing to share what God teaches us with each other, isn’t it? What a good reminder you shared–to watch for examples of God’s love everywhere. He is love and surrounds us with His lovingkindness. I appreciate you reading and commenting so much.
I’m grateful for the love of family that sees me through rough days. And I’m grateful for the kindness of praying friends. ❤️
Katy, the love of family and friends is a wonderful blessing from God. I’m thankful God provides this blessing and allows us to pray for and minister to others.
Katy, the love of family and friends is a blessing for me, also. I’m thankful for that blessing and the fact that He allows us to pray for and minister to others.
What a sweet sweet story. I love the thought that your husband was part of the blessing! Thank you for the reminder of God’s steadfast love!
Sylvia, this story is based on one of our favorite memories. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it. God shows us His love in so many ways.