Today we are celebrating love. Whether you are observing Valentine’s Day or Singles’ Awareness Week, the love in your life is worth celebrating. The Apostle Paul devoted a whole chapter (1 Corinthians 13) to the subject. 1 John 4: 7-21 tells us how love is God’s nature, it is who he is. It must be pretty important, and it is.
Love is worth celebrating because through it, we receive salvation, and renew creation around us. God owes us nothing. He chose to save us because he loved us. His justice and holiness also demonstrate his love. He hates sin and punishes it because of the horror it brings his creation. It is the antithesis of who he is. Love is perfectly exemplified in God’s relationship within the Trinity and with all of us. Even this holiday’s namesake, St. Valentine, is remembered because of his ultimate expression of love for God and his people. He was martyred for refusing to stop practicing Christianity amidst the pagan Roman Empire.
This day, love and romance get a lot of attention. They are a gift of God, beautifully expressed in marriage. The purpose of marriage is to reflect the love God has for his people. God is faithful, devoted and everlastingly committed to his people. His people, in turn, are to be faithful to him. The Church is called the “bride of Christ.” Often in the Old Testament, God compared his relationship with Israel to that of a husband and wife. Yes, your marriage reflects an eternal reality. It serves to glorify God. Sobering thought, isn’t it?
In fact, all of our relationships should serve this purpose. God created us for connection, for relationships. God himself exists through the relationship of the Trinity. We need to take great care of our relationships. We need to appreciate them. We need to love all we come across with that agape love that God has for us. He will equip us. We can’t do it on our devices, we’ll fail miserably.
I also realize that we live in an evil world filled with suffering, where love gets misplaced and distorted. Perhaps you are dealing with a bad break up, divorce or loss of a loved one. This day might especially sting. Failed relationships and memories of heartbreak tried to enter my own mind, today. Then, I remembered all of the constant love that surrounds me. The love of God, family, and friends. God’s love is unconditional. He is not fickle or partial. Hold onto it, even when life hurts.
Like many others who are single, I do hope to find my “forever” love someday. I think the sacred bond of marriage is one of life’s greatest beauties. Right now, may we strive to demonstrate the agape love in all of our relationships, no matter what stage we find ourselves in. Keep love pure. Honor and celebrate love’s innate selflessness and devotion. Hearts pouring out love and receiving love will overcome sorrow and loss. Happy Valentine’s Day.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”