Advent Devotionals for Couples: Week 4 – Love

By Bill Arbuckle
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Close up of a woman's hands tying a bow on one of several small Christmas packages
Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash
All lovers know there is a price for love. And God - who is love - knows more than anyone else the cost of great love.

Advent: Love costs something, but we know the Source of love.

Key Scripture: John 3:16

The True Cost of Love

Della Young was in love. It was Christmas, and she had saved exactly $1.87 with which she planned to purchase a gift for her new husband, James Dillingham Young. But $1.87 can only stretch so far. And a Christmas gift would cost more — much more — than her meager savings allowed.

There was a way to make up the shortfall … if she dared. It meant giving up the thing she treasured most. In the timeless tale “The Gift of the Magi,” American author O. Henry described Della’s valued possession. “The James Dillingham Youngs were very proud of two things which they owned. One thing was Jim’s gold watch. The other thing was Della’s hair. Della knew her hair was more beautiful than any queen’s jewels and gifts.” In a flash, she made up her mind. The one she treasured meant more than any trove of jewels, gold or long brown tresses. She would sell her hair to buy a gift for Jim.

If, over the years, you’ve peeked ahead to read the end of the story, then you know that Della and Jim gave their most treasured possessions to buy the perfect gift for the other. But the perfect gift comes at a great cost. “Love and large-hearted giving,” O. Henry writes, “when added together, can leave deep marks. It is never easy to cover these marks, dear friends — never easy.”

All lovers know there is a price for love. And God — who is love — knows more than anyone the cost of great love. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son…” But all lovers — God, Jim and Della included — know that love is worth even the highest price.

Read these Advent Scriptures about God’s love

Ask your spouse:

  • How do you show your love to others?
  • How can I better show you my love?
  • How can we as a couple show God’s love to our families, friends and neighbors?

More ways to grow closer to your spouse this holiday season:

More Advent Devotionals

© 2019 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on

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