“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
Valentine’s Day arrives this week. For sweethearts, it’s a day to rejoice in the love they share. For school kids, it’s a party to swap cartoon Valentines with each other or make homemade versions from red construction paper and doilies for their families. Stores help out by packing their shelves with all kinds of chocolates, flowers, cards, and stuffed animals. In general, it’s quite a happy day.
For some, though, Valentine’s Day can be painful—loneliness, conflict, and rejection can all feed into making it a depressing experience. I remember the sadness well. I was single for a long time before meeting my forever love, Mark. The hardest times were in college, when I would rush by the dorm lobby desk which was covered in Valentine bouquets…I knew that none were for me.
If you fall into this category, take heart (pun intended)—Valentine’s Day could become a time for you to celebrate a greater love.
Long before you and I were born, God sought to shower His tremendous love upon us. In 1 John 4, we find that the real measure of love is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son for us…we love Him only because He first extended His love to us.
It was never intended, though, as solely a love between us and our Creator. From the beginning, He has commanded us to love all those around us. He is the essence of love, and He desires for us to spread His love to others
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis described the Christian concept of love as relational: “…the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else….God is love, and that love works through men—especially through the whole community of Christians. But this spirit of love is, from all eternity, a love going on between the Father and Son.”
Feeling unloved this Valentine’s Day? Take a moment to reflect on God’s abundant, sacrificial, sufficient love for you. If you have opened your heart to accept His gift of grace, you are indeed loved, beyond all measure.
Want to go one step further? Share His love with someone else this Valentine’s Day. Find an opportunity to pour encouragement into someone else’s weary soul. Send a Valentine to someone who might not otherwise get any recognition that day.
Acting out God’s love to others is one of the best ways you can praise Him and thank Him for His love for you. And, I think it will make Valentine’s Day one of the sweetest and happiest holidays of the year for you!
Loving Father, thank You again for reminding us that You are love—it indwells Your entire presence. Open our eyes to the divine appointments you give us every day to share Your love with others. Help us to think sacrificially, selflessly, creatively. In the light of the love of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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On the first Valentine’s Day with my sweetheart, Mark, he surprised me with a gift delivered to my office—a potted hyacinth and an antique Valentine. Now slightly tattered, this lacy card (in the photo above) is framed and preserved in a shadow box on our wall, its message still dear to my heart:
“True as the needle to the pole,
Or as the dial to the Sun,
Constant as gliding waters roll
Which to the central Ocean run.
So swells my soul with love for thee,
From every other charmer free.”