I battled with writing a love post. I wanted to write about cards and roses and dinners and pretty dresses, but these things did not fit right today. The longer I thought of it, the less I wanted to write about the usual dealings of Valentine’s Day.
The reason is that while I love the happy, commercialized image of Valentine’s Day, deep down on a personal level, the day is very often not what we see on the ads we receive and the commercials we watch.
What is this day? How do we celebrate it? Is our focus truly loving?
When I think about it, Valentine’s Day is the day on our calendar when we claim to celebrate love…but it carries so many expectations, impositions and sadly so much hurt.
The widow hurts.
The single mom who recounts every disappointment she experienced at the hand of someone who was supposed to love her hurts.
The veteran who returned home with a bruised and closed heart hurts.
The single young woman who’s been asked a thousand times why she doesn’t have a date tomorrow hurts.
The married woman who isn’t sure her husband has made dinner reservations hurts.
The husband who fears messing it up again this year hurts.
The child who was left out at school, and did not receive any Valentine’s Day cards hurts.
So much hurt.
So many expectations and disappointments…all in the name of love.
Ironically, the last thing many of us think of on this day is how we can be dispensers of love. Instead, we anticipate receiving love and in the instance when “love” is not be served in the package that we desire, we hurt. Deeply.
No one is immune to the sting of Valentine’s Day.
Let me encourage you. Love is a gift, not a day. It is a present that our God and Father dispenses daily, in abundance.
He is the source of love and He is the creator of you. He has expressed great love for us in His Son Jesus Christ.
The yearnings of our souls can only be satisfied by a God who knows us deeply, yet whose love for us is incomparable and irreplaceable.
He is the source of our wholeness. He is the One who can heal our wounds and band our broken hearts. A box of chocolates and a romantic dinner, as nice as they are, cannot make us whole.
The love that we experience from others cannot quench the desires of our hearts for Him. Even a great spouse makes a poor god.
Assured of God’s great love for us, we are compelled to love others on Valentine’s Day and every day. We are compelled to give of ourselves and of our resources to reach out to others. We are compelled to reach out to the hurting and to offer a word of hope, to seek the brokenhearted and share a smile.
We are compelled to love within the walls of our own homes. To cook, clean, bake, make reservations and buy gifts…not to earn love, but because we are loved.
Because we are fully loved, we can be truly loving.
Love takes an active role in the happiness of others. Love seeks to serve and exchange a kind word.
Love says “Thank you” for dinner even if the restaurant wasn’t our first choice.
Love reaches out and touches a heart, as a way to share God’s love.
Love seeks to be an instrument of grace, because it acknowledges that we have received immeasurably grace from the God of love.
At this vulnerable time, who can you extend the love of God to?