It’s days like these that I wish I could take a pin to every heart-shaped balloon I come in contact with.
I know what you’re thinking. “Here we go again. Another sad blog about a bitter girl who had her heart broken, and has now decided to stick up her fist at every couple she sees.”
However, you would be wrong in thinking this. I enjoy Valentine’s day just as much as the next person. From the chocolate, to the flowers, to the awkward couples, I find great joy in this day! What I don’t appreciate is all the hype we place on a day that celebrates a value we should be observing every day. This applies not only to relationships with the opposite sex, but also to relationships with our friends, family, and our Heavenly Father.
Our culture has exaggerated the definition of love. Today, love is characterized by how we feel. It is short-lived and self-gratifying. We engage in relationships based solely on our desire to get something out of it, and we only stay in them until we don’t “feel” anything anymore. This isn’t real love though. Real love is characterized by it’s longstanding. Real love is a verb.
So on a day where love is emphasized, it seemed only fit to proclaim what real love is. Firstly, real love is found in Jesus. No matter what we do, if we have placed our faith in Him, there is nothing we can do that will separate us from His love. There is nothing anyone else can do that could separate us from His love.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This unconditional love that God has for our sinful selves is unfathomable. He doesn’t look at me and say, “Ya know, I just don’t feel like I love Lauren anymore. This thing between us just isn’t working out anymore.” God knows me. David says in Psalm 139 that God searches our hearts. He knows all of our ways and all of our thoughts. God knows EVERYTHING about us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I don’t know about you, but this makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide my face in the corner. How could God ever want me, or love me if He knows and understands my plans, my thoughts, my sin, and my past? But this is where He displays His real love. That even in our sin, God loves us. In fact, He loves us so much that He came down from His throne in Heaven to bear our shame, our guilt, and our sin. He loves us so much that He died a bloody, gruesome, and violent death so that we may know this love.
John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one’s life for His friends.” Christ did just this. He demonstrated His love by taking our place on the Cross. If this is what real love looks like, then why are we celebrating this “half-in, half-out” love. Real love is a commitment. It is patient, kind, never-ending. Real love doesn’t envy or boast, it isn’t arrogant or rude, it isn’t irritable or self-centered. Real love is a commitment. There is a reason why we have vows like “for better or for worse,” or “till death do us part,” because infatuation does not always last. We live in a broken, corrupt world. Hard times will come and people will piss you off. That’s life. However, it is crucial that we recognize this and begin to love as a verb.
Again, I am not trying to take the fun out of a cute holiday! But if you realize, like I myself did this morning, that you aren’t expressing your love as a commitment, then it’s time for us to start. Let this Valentines be a turning point in our lives where, together, we begin to genuinely love not only our boo, but also our brothers and sisters in Christ!
I leave you with these verses:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8