Valentine candy heartsThis is Valentine’s Week. And it really is about the heart.

Yes, I know, it’s supposed to be Valentine’s Day on Tuesday this week. But between TV commercials, store displays, and billboards, it seems like the holiday has expanded into a week–or the whole month. Like other holidays, a good idea has been commercialized and overdone.

But that doesn’t matter, and neither does buying presents for your children, making sure your child gives a valentine to every student in his class, or whether or not your spouse gives ou flowers. Not that those things aren’t good and possibly important. But what happens on one day every year doesn’t determine whether or not you love someone, or whether you are loved.

It’s often said that love is a verb. That means the best way to show love is through actions–not just giving cards or presents, but doing things that make the other person happy. As Gary Smalley said, find out what the other person’s “love language” is, then act on that. “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth,” wrote the apostle John (1 John 3:18, GW). Love flows from the heart and reveals itself in action.

The greatest love of all was revealed on the cross when Jesus died for you and me. That act of ultimate sacrifice made it possible for each of us to get a new heart. “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekial 36:26, ESV).

So enjoy Valentine’s Day, by all means. But remember that love isn’t demonstrated by paper or candy hearts, but by actions flowing from your heart.

Another Story of the Heart

My book The Secret Heart releases Feb. 21. It’s a modern-day retelling of the love story of King David and Bathsheba that explores how secrets can create problems in a relationship. Find out more about it and the prequel novelette, The Divided Heart, here.