I'm a sucker for Valentines Day. I just need to admit that up front. I love flowers, chocolate, overly long cards, red and pink in combination and even hearts. And I really love the excuse to express love to people that I love, and even specifically my husband.
But I just keep thinking today about 2 things.
One, how grateful I am that we have the ability to love and receive love from other people
and second, the only reason this is true is because God first demonstrated love to us.
I am so glad God designed friendship love, kindred love and even especially on this day, romantic love. He chooses to describe his relationship with his church as being like the bond between a bride and groom so I'm pretty sure it was his idea in the first place.
But I also know that as long as we think any type of earthly love will satisfy us, we are lying to ourselves.
The good news is that the love of God never disappoints, never fails, never ends, keeps us from fear and is the very nature of God himself.
I love these parts of God's word...
"perfect love casts out fear...we love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19
...in other words, God's love (the only perfected love) frees us from fear and gives us the ability to love other people.
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are!" -1 John 3:1
...He loves us as his children. This is making more sense to me now as a mom.
"But God shows His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" -Rom. 5:8
...His love was never earned by us but just lavished on us while we rejected and despised him.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases." -Lam. 3:22
...It doesn't fluctuate based on what we do. Praise God!
"Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens..." Psalm 36:5
...Our little minds can't even grasp the breadth of the love of Christ.
So I don't really know if today you are feeling unloved or extremely loved. And really, either way, it doesn't change the truth that God has already chosen to love you. It's nothing you did. In fact, you aren't worthy of it at all. And surprisingly, that is great news! Because that means there is nothing you can do to mess it up.
...and now for those of you who only look for pictures on this blog (I know you just scrolled down past all that I wrote to see if there's a picture)...here you go!
a picture from a favorite Valentines party...2010...at Dave's sister's house