“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13

I find it very interesting that the season of Lent begins on Valentine’s Day this year. This gives us a rare opportunity to compare what earthly and heavenly love are like.

Earthly love asks “What’s in it for me?”

God’s love, on the other hand, asks “How can I serve?”

Earthly love, left to its own devices, is selfish. It’s all about having our own needs met by another person. And because none of us are perfect, it’s set up for failure. Movies and TV shows make it look like we are going to find another person who fulfills our every need, dream, and desire. When we are in a relationship with another person, we end up putting these ridiculous expectations on them. No wonder the divorce rate is so high.

God’s love, on the other hand, is selfless. This kind of love is all about sacrifice. Jesus set the ultimate example by suffering death on the cross because he loved us. We are called to love him with that kind of love, and to love others sacrificially as well.

The ultimate opportunity for that is in the realm of marriage. Wives are called to honor their husbands. Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church. In both cases, this involves sacrifice.

What if, instead of going into this whole love looking for another person to fulfill our every whim and meet our expectations, we went into it looking for how we can give?

An amazing thing happens when two people love like that, and sacrifice like that. When you both stop asking what’s in it for you and start looking for ways to serve, you are both changed for the better. It is an amazing place to live from.