February is the month of love and romance. Red and pink hearts are everywhere in honor of Valentine’s Day—the universal day for showing and sharing love. Of course, we don’t just love in the month of February—or one day a year—but Valentine’s Day is the day we focus on finding ways to demonstrate our love.

Fill in the blank with the first thing that comes to your mind: I LOVE_________.

Love is a word we use freely....

  • I love pizza!
  • I love pink!
  • I love my husband!
  • I love my kids!
  • I love my new vacuum!
  • I love my new shoes!

Obviously, we love our husbands and kids more than we love pizza or shoes. So how would you fill in the following blank?

My FIRST love is _____________.

Maybe you had trouble completing that sentence. If you’re married, how could you possibly differentiate between your husband and your children as your first love? If you have more than one child...how could you determine which one of them you love first? You can't. But when you fill in that blank with . . . My FIRST love is Jesus...he gives you the ability to have limitless love for him and for others.  

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37-40 The Message

You probably know people who would fill in the blank with …

My FIRST love is myself.
My FIRST love is my career.
My FIRST love is fame and fortune.
My FIRST love is my car or house or bank account...

Every day we see on the news or in our neighborhoods, the tragic results of lives lived with misplaced priorities.

Romantic Love 

I once read a satirical advice column: Dear Dr. Lovelorn, Where do I go to find a lukewarm love for the rest of my life to grow old with?

No one plans for romantic love to turn lukewarm. Remember when you were first in love? Time, money, and energy were never a concern. You talked lovingly about each other nonstop, couldn’t stand to be apart, showered each other with affection, and wanted the world to know you were in love.

Then if you marry and children join your happy family, it becomes harder and harder to find the time, money, and energy to expend on each other. Yes, your love has matured, but you have to be careful that mature love doesn’t mean the passion and excitement has turned to lukewarm and routine. Even God wants our marriages to stay as on fire, as when we were first in love….

“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth”
(Proverbs 5:18 NLT)

Love for Jesus

God also wants us to maintain the passion and excitement we had when we first fell in love with his Son, Jesus. Have you been around a new believer lately? They have a radiance and glow...just like a new bride. New believers are on fire for the Lord. There’s a contagious joy and exuberance about them. Others want to know the source of their happiness.

Unfortunately, our original passion sometimes fades as our faith matures. We may become like the church in Ephesus who Jesus spoke of in Revelations 2:4-5 (NIV):