Misguided Valentine

 We are in the midst of a month that focuses on love. Some people are eager to seek out love and some are ready to run from it. Some focus on having a valentine while others loathingly focus on the fact that they are single. 


Unfortunately most of those I mentioned above are focusing on an eroded view of love. Many of us have taken a very famous passage in 1 Corinthians out of context and we are missing something. As a result we have become misguided valentines.


Have you ever noticed what sandwiches 1 Corinthians 13? If we are to let context be king, then we must let it rule in interpretation as it is intended. 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 focus on spiritual gifts that are given to believers and how they are to be used within the body. Many of us have looked at 1 Corinthians 13 and made it about marriage and true love. We have looked at it as something to be attained one day when God blesses us with that special someone. 


But perhaps we are missing the point. 1 Corinthians seems to answer the question How? How does one use the gift given to them by the Spirit? When I look at this passage asking “how” and considering the context, the meaning suddenly becomes clear.


I now see the importance of using my God given gift within the body in love instead of in the flesh. That is something I often need to be reminded of. My spiritual gift wasn’t given for the good of me or so I could feel better about myself. Instead it was given so I could lovingly build up the body. That is what we are all called to do until we arrive at maturity so that we are no longer “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:14).


This “love” that God calls us to is something we can walk in right now. It’s not something to be attained “one day” or something to long for. Godly “agape” is a “no strings attached love” and this is what we are to show to other believers right here, right now. This love is HOW we are to exercise the gifts that the Spirit has bestowed on us. Bottom line, this love is not something to hold onto and treasure for that special someone, but it answers HOW we are to use our spiritual gift. 


To do this, we must pull out of a worldly focused love that is often selfish and look toward your brothers and sisters in Christ to extend a love without strings. I often don’t look at my brothers and sisters in Christ through the love lens of 1 Corinthians 13. I bet you are right there with me.


How do you love the body of Christ? Are you using your spiritual gift? Do you even know what your gift is? What are your thoughts on love? Do you see it as that ooey gooey thing in chick flicks? Or as the kind of self- sacrificing love God calls us to extend to not just to those we care about, but the entire body of Christ.


Don’t be a misguided valentine! I encourage you to find out more about Spiritual Gifts from the source: God’s Word. Check out the 40 min study Understanding Spiritual Gifts. Learn how to love the body by using your gift and how to use your gift in LOVE. 

For study on Spiritual Gifts: click here



Ashlee is a native New Mexican. She is the wife of a College Minister, a student ministry leader, and has been involved with Transform Student Ministries for 14 years. She seeks to be a disciple of God and His Word as well as a disciple-maker. She is striving to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and to seek the favor of God not men.

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