In 2018 you perhaps watched the eight-part PBS television series The Great American Read. The series was hosted by Meredith Vieira (you may know her from The Meredith Vieira Show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Today Show, or The View). This television series explored and celebrated the power of reading as told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey with the top ten being To Kill a Mockingbird, Outlander [Series], Harry Potter [Series], Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Gone with the Wind, Charlotte’s Web, Little Women, Chronicles of Narnia, and Jane Eyre).
The series investigated how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.
In this series one theme emerged often in the 100 best-loved novels—the quest for love, especially a romantic love that endures the test of time and all obstacles. Since this is the month of Valentine’s Day, the popularity of the theme of love on the PBS series struck me as worthy of note.
I think we all love good love stories, even the romantic ones. But why? Well, ultimately most people identify with the desire to love and be loved in some capacity. If you don’t have love in your life, you’re trying to get it. If you have it, you’re doing your best to try to keep it. Regardless, if we are going to experience giving and receiving love, i.e., live out a love story in our own lives, we have to engage in a form of that early childhood, school exercise called Show & Tell.
You remember Show & Tell, don’t you? It was a teaching method for young children, in which students were encouraged to bring selected items to class and describe them to their classmates. Well, when it comes to love and living out a love story in our lives, Show & Tell is applied just a little differently. You don’t describe the item of love; you demonstrate it. To love, you have to both show and tell it!
We demonstrate or express love to our spouses, children, family, friends, and others through what popular author Gary Chapman calls the Five Love Languages. He suggests discovering the way each person to whom you wish to demonstrate love best recognizes and receives that love, and then express it in that way. You show and tell then, i.e., communicate your love, by performing loving acts of service (to alleviate their workload), by spending quality time with the person (focused conversation, sharing special moments or attending events together), by giving thoughtful gifts, by physical touch (hug, kiss, holding hands, handshake, pat on the back), and by encouraging words of affirmation. I say: employ them all to whomever you love! (um, be careful with that holding hands and kissing thing, if not a date or spouse . . . could lead to an unloving experience!).
You know who else loves a good love story, who enjoys engaging in Show & Tell with love, and who is an incurable romantic at heart? God! God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). As the ultimate romantic and creator of the greatest love story ever, God shows and tells of His love through the eternal God-Man, Jesus Christ. That most noted of all Bible verses, John 3:16 (AMP) says: “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Like the theme of the 100 best-loved novels in the PBS special series, the romantic love of God for those who love, trust, and believe in Him, endures the test of time, for all eternity, and against all competing obstacles.
God loves you, my friend. The question is, “Do you love Him?” If not, accept the love and grace of God today by placing your faith in and expressing your love for Jesus Christ.
If you love Him, Show & Tell of that love to others!
There is no better time to do so than the present.