By Caryn Wright, Advocacy Integration and Campaigns Intern 

It is the season of candy hearts, chocolate kisses, and Valentine’s cards — with “approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually, this makes Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas,” according to the History Channel. However, this day can often feel flat and hollow — seeming to miss the heart of love.

I do appreciate dark chocolate and red roses, and while these can be symbols of love, they certainly are not love. To truly understand love, we must look to the framework Scripture provides:

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no command greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31

In both of these verses, the word love can be substituted with the Greek word agape:

“Whoever does not agape does not know God, because God is agape.”

Agape the Lord your God with everything available to you. The second is this: ‘Agape your neighbor as yourself.’”

In just one morning, while looking for references to love in Scripture, I found over 30 instances in the New Testament where the word agape is written. So what is agape, and what does this love — an emotion of the heart, have to do with advocacy, seemingly an action of the head?

A.W. Tozer states:

“Loving with agape love is choosing, willing to direct God’s love to specific people whether or not they are loveable or responsive. It is loving people because God loves them and it is loving with His love.”

This is our motivation and purpose for advocacy — to help children, families, and communities overcome poverty and injustice. These are the specific people God calls us to love as World Vision advocates. Love is an action and the fuel behind why we choose to advocate for refugees, healthy moms and kids, children in need of education, and children experiencing violence.

Share love this Valentine’s Day by standing as an advocate for love.

Caryn Wright is currently an intern for the Advocacy Integration and Campaigns team at World Vision. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Grand Canyon University and desires to use her passion for writing to tackle issues of poverty and injustice.

Photo: Mothers at the Women and Young Children Space (WAYCS) in the Philippines take the time to pamper themselves during the Valentine’s Day celebration. © 2014 World Vision/ photo by World Vision Staff

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