Valentine's Day - the annual celebration of love - is just around the corner! Every February 14, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones all around the world.
While it's wonderful to celebrate such relationships, it's important to remember that our love for our spouse or family is modeled after God's love for us. In fact, the Bible says "God is love," meaning love is one of God's primary characteristics. Because we are created in God's image, He has endowed us with the capacity for love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 sums up God's love for us and tells us how we are to love 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 the top seven Bible verses that best explain the true meaning of love. Feel free to simply ponder on these verses, or use them in a Valentine's Day card to show the love of your life how you feel.
1 John 4:7-8 - 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.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - 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.
John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Mark 12:33 - 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.
Ephesians 5:1 - Follow God's example; therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
1 John 4:16 - 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 4:19 - We love because he first loved us.