Today is Valentine's Day — the annual celebration of love. Every Feb. 14 couples across the country exchange heart-shaped candy, flowers and teddy bears to demonstrate their affection for one another. This year alone, Americans are expected to spend $19.7 billion on Valentine's Day, according to the National Retail Federation.
Commercial aspects aside, Valentine's Day is also an opportunity to remember that our love for our spouse or family is modeled after God's love for us. In fact, the Bible tells us that "God is love," meaning love is one of God's primary characteristics, and "We love Him, because He first loved us." Because we are created in God's image, He has given us the ability to selflessly love one another.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 sums up God's love for us and tells us how we are to treat one another: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
We've compiled a list of 10 Bible verses that explain the true meaning of Christ-like love. Feel free to use these verses in a Valentine's Day card, gift, or love letter to show your significant other how you feel while pointing them back to the author of love Himself.
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," Song of Solomon 8:3.
"To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices," Mark 12:33.
"I found the one my heart loves," Song of Solomon 3:4.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up," Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself," Matthew 22:37-39.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends," John 15:13.
"Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs," Proverbs 10:12.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love," 1 John 4:7-8.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them," 1 John 4:16.
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life," Proverbs 31:10-12.