How appropriate! A valentine’s message from the Valentines:
Valentine’s Day has always been one of my wife’s favorite holidays, so imagine her delight when we got married and she got to become a Valentine, for always! As a married couple, having the last name Valentine, we often hear comments that “we must love Valentine’s day!” It’s true, we do like Valentine’s day and we do like to make it special. But we have also interacted with those who give eye rolls and who seem bitter about this holiday. We know people have all sorts of reasons to feel that way, and have heard a wide variety of reasons why people think this holiday is so silly.
However, we think it comes down to one major reason. We were fed a lie. From the sappy romantic movies, happily ever after fairytales and over commercialized marketing of chocolates, flowers and other assorted Valentine gifts, we are told that Valentine’s day HAS to be about romantic love with another person. And if you are without said romantic partner, you most definitely have failed at love. Enter bitterness. This is a lie and we would contend that Valentine’s day is special, not because we have each other, but rather because we have a relationship with the Author of Love and therefore can love each other, our children and family and friends well because of our relationship with the Definer of Love itself.
You see, our media has it all wrong. And if we measure our idea of love up against the structure this world has to offer for what love is, it will always fail us, point us to bitterness and in essence make us feel a sense of hopelessness. But if we allow our understanding of love to be dictated by the One who created it, we will celebrate days like today with different perspective. We would acknowledge that we don’t have to let the world define love for us and we can find joy in the midst of where God has each and every one of us during this particular phase of life. All too often, we have heard friends say, “if only (fill in the blank)” in regard to relationships, but this perspective is a misplaced hope. It’s saying, when I am in a relationship or if my marriage would only be a certain way; I will be fulfilled, I will truly be loved, I will have my Valentine.
We can tell you this, we’ve been married long enough to say, if you are searching for love in a person other than that of Jesus Christ, you will always come up empty, sad, confused, mad or deflated at some point. My wife can not fulfill the deep longing I have for love. She can do loving things for me, and she does, but it’s not enough. I need God’s rich, deep, unending love to overwhelm my soul in order that I might relish in the earthly love He has given me. So let me ask you, do you believe God loves you? This is an essential question I would ask you to seriously consider. The answer to this question will determine how you love others and in turn expect to be loved here on earth. We are told in Ephesians that “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ…” His great love with which He loved us! Can you even grasp that? It still overwhelms me now as I type!
A couple chapters later in Ephesians we see that if Christ dwells in us through faith in Him, there is a hope that “you (and me), being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” We do hope that today you take time to search the truth of Scripture and begin to grasp or deepen your understanding of the amazing breadth and length and height and depth of love that God has for you. And may this life changing love, be one that motivates you to love others well.
Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day!