Valentine’s day celebrations were always a sight to behold when I was in primary school. It was almost a competition…who could combine the most red things. It ranged from very obvious attempts like red sneakers or socks, to more obscure things like red earrings or watches. If Valentine’s Day happened to fall on ‘Our Day’ (our termly party to mark the end of another academic period), then someone could even dare to pull off a red shirt, red ribbon, red shoe, red watch stunt… I am sure you get the picture.

Growing older however made me realise that this day that is so widely celebrated goes far beyond any red apparel to a deeper word most people are still trying to understand, LOVE.
It’s interesting how people signify love with only the colour Red, whilst others attach love to only one day, Valentine’s day.

What is love to you?
How true is your love?

“I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets ; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains – but if I have no love, I am nothing. ” – 1 Corinthians 13 :2 (GNB)

This quote alone teaches me that love, the genuine kind, goes beyond any celebration, appearance or even romance. I have come to learn that AUTHENTIC LOVE is seen in our day to day activities and is tested almost always on a daily basis.
Beyond Valentine’s day, there are many people to whom love can be shown, and many people who can also put us through tests of love without us knowing it. The more obvious people include :

– Family
Family could well be the closest people we could ever have, and because of that, we often take them for granted without even knowing it. We do not need to do or see anything ‘big’ in order to know that we are loved. Little things like ‘How are you?’, ‘Take care’, or even an occasional stern rebuke for doing something wrong, are all little proofs of love and acceptance, and we could return that love in many little ways like being respectful and forgiving.

– Friends

I’ve heard people say that “Friends will either make you or mar you” ; a statement I have come to believe over time. It is quite easy to love when that friend is always smiling, warm and understanding…. but what happens when he or she becomes moody, or even suddenly decides to become a broadcaster of your life to others?
Another difficult test of love.

– Strangers
An act of love to someone you barely know is quite some proof of love. It could be someone you’ve noticed at work, school, church…anywhere, who always seems lonely and is in dire need of a warm smile or kind word.
It could be a colleague sitting close by, who is obviously in need of water to drink, especially when you know that the one you have is your last!
Of course, the world has become quite strange these days, making it tougher to love and show kindness, but in the midst of it all, there are people still in genuine need. May we have the ability to tell the difference!

The list of people we could show love to and learn lessons of love from, is quite endless, not forgetting Ghana. Yes, we can show love to Ghana too, like she once told us in her letter, Ghana’s Cry, by praying for her, being proud of her, standing up for her when we have to, and being kind towards her children, no matter the party or tribe or ‘class’ they belong  to.

Some of our Ghanaian love songs have a particular phrase that runs through them, which when translated means “Love goes where love is, like a mirror.”, meaning that love is always returned or reciprocated.
The harsh reality however is that love is far from being like a mirror, and AUTHENTIC LOVE is more often than not, unnoticed or unappreciated. It is quite easy to love when the recipient equally loves you too, but I’d like to throw you a challenge..
‘Can you love (or show love) to someone you know cannot repay you or someone you know may not even appreciate you? ‘

Love is definitely a lot of things combined… too many things!…. to be celebrated in just one day. Let us make everyday a day of love, a day to count.

Before I end, there is a true ultimate Gift of love I would like to share with you. This Gift is to me, the most authentic because He was able to lay His life down for people who barely knew Him, loved Him or cared. That precious Gift is Jesus, and I recommend this Valentine’s Day Gift to you to accept and also share with others, for
“..Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends… ” –  John 15:13 (KJV)

And lastly, a little reminder… Valentine’s day is definitely not time for a pity party, when you lament over being single or being unloved. It is a time, I believe, to work on ourselves, build ourselves up and remind ourselves of why we are special. Trust me, there is at least one thing in you that is worth something.



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