Love is in the air. Stores and restaurants are displaying symbols of love. Don’t forget a card, chocolates, and the heart shaped pizza for that special someone. My own home-based pie company sells special 3” QT (QuiteTiny) pies topped with adorable heart crust cut outs this time of year. (By the time you read this, it will be too late to order some, so I’m not ashamed to advertise.)
I don’t wish to diminish these gifts of affection. Who doesn’t feel good when they give or receive them? I like to be told that I am loved. On the other hand, I believe Valentine’s Day reflects mistaken ideas about true love that pervade our culture. It grieves my sensitive side to see how we have settled for less than love. I have been deeply impacted by love that has been thrown away, by relationships severed by differences of opinion, and by choices motivated by selfishness. I long that others experience more and better than this.
I have this sign posted in my bedroom, so I can see it every day when I rise.
Forever, for always, and no matter what.
It sums up God’s love for me and my desire for the relationships with my husband, family, and dear friends.
These words express more than warm-fuzzy sentiments. They convey a commitment of true grit, the determination to keep fighting for a relationship, with the highest good of the other person in mind.
Easier to say. Much harder to live.
And yet, there are faithful people all around us who demonstrate true love and seldom receive recognition. I am so grateful for their examples.
~Those who hold a high standard for their marriage, believing that it is possible to reflect Christ’s love for the Church, and work hard together to achieve that goal.
~Those who realize they have nothing in common as a couple now that the kids are gone and determine to start over again with each other.
~Those who care for their loved one struggling with cancer or other debilitating disease, providing the strength of being there day after day.
~Those who face financial hardships and other crises, and support each other with encouragement and kindness instead of accusation and blame.
~Those who set boundaries for unacceptable behaviors but keep the possibility for relationship alive.
~Those who are not threatened by a different way of looking at things, and seek first to understand before being understood.
~Those who place a higher priority on their relationships than on being “right.”
~Those who extend grace to loved ones rather than judgment as they walk in the imperfections of being human.
~To the One who willingly laid down His life to pay the penalty for our sins, in order to restore our broken relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I celebrate you today on this Valentine’s Day.
We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me with perfect love. Teach me to love You and to love others with Your kind of love. May I not be controlled by my emotions moment by moment. Help me focus on the best interests of others in every situation. Empower me to keep going when it is difficult, and to walk in love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.