Our word for the year at Care Net is love! We believe that love, God’s love, is the only thing that can truly transform hearts, minds, and our world. To promote life well, we must also promote love well.

But what is love? That question has been posed in music lyrics and prose. Many have attempted to answer it with ethereal expressions equating love to feelings or emotions. While others have declared love a duty that, candidly, doesn’t sound very appealing.

Fortunately, the Bible gives us a clear definition of love. There’s no ambiguity in the scripture’s declaration of what love is according to 1 Corinthians 13. You’ve read it. You’ve heard it at weddings. But how different would our lives and relationships be if we were able to practice love, fully, in the way the Bible prescribes?

What is love? Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy or boast. Love isn’t proud. Love doesn’t dishonor others, and it isn’t self-seeking or easily angered. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, and it doesn’t delight in evil. Instead, it rejoices with the truth. Finally, love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Wow. What a list.

Then, what’s even more amazing, is what Paul tells us about the Christian life in the absence of love. Without love, Paul tells us, we are clanging cymbals and noisy gongs. It’s not just that we’re less effective””instead, we are annoying at best, vexing at worst.

The truth of abundant life, the devastating impact of abortion, and the cause of life must be delivered with love or it will fall on deaf ears.

This year, Care Net is encouraging all of its supporters to take a public stand for this kind of radical, biblical love. When the narrative all around us is one of hate and division, you can take your stand for what true love””God’s love””looks like. This is especially important in a culture that has tried to replace love with a cheap imitation of love – tolerance. When tolerance is a culture’s highest virtue, the result is chaos, because tolerance does none of the things that love does, such as rejoicing in the truth or not keeping a record of wrongs. (you can learn more about the difference between love and tolerance here.)

To make it easier for you to show your neighbors your commitment to this transformative kind of love, we’ve created these incredible yard signs that spell out what real love looks like. Consider buying some for your friends and posting one in your own yard. You can order here.

Throughout this year of “love,” we’ll feature a person who has exemplified the characteristics of love in their daily lives. Our hope is that you’ll not only enjoy the spotlight on these amazing men and women, but that you’ll be encouraged to follow their example of living a life devoted to loving people the way that Jesus loved.

We look forward to growing in love alongside you this year.