Friday, February 14, is, of course, St Valentine’s day. It is a day when loving relationships are often celebrated – and it is a good thing to celebrate love.

The Christian faith tells us that love is the most important thing because God is love and we are to follow his example of love.

But what sort of love is it that we celebrate?

For some love equals romance and emotion. Sadly, for some people today, love can just mean sex.

The Bible encourages us to celebrate love with a deeper meaning.

In the famous chapter of I Corinthians 13, Paul tells us that love is patient and kind and persevering.

It is not simply emotion, but an act of will and commitment to love others in that way.

It can be difficult to love others with patience, kindness and to persevere when you find it hard going in a relationship.

That is why the Bible also says that such love is the fruit of God’s Spirit at work in us, helping us to love like that.

The novelist Agatha Christie once said that ‘an archaeologist is the best husband to have because the older you get, the more interested in you he becomes’.

It is a lovely thing when relationships of love can grow and deepen and people stay faithfully together all their lives.

Valentine’s day would be a good day to ask God for the strength and help to love others like that.

The Rev David Wilkinson

Heron Hill Free Church