Maybe you are jaded and maybe you h-a-t-e February 14th.
You might be the proverbial Scrooge of Valentine’s Day (aka “Love Day”), and it is “. . . all humbug, HUMBUG, I tell you!” as far as you are concerned.
Maybe the thought of lovers/friends exchanging flowers, stuffed animals, balloon bouquets, and chocolate in heart-shaped boxes makes you sick to your stomach.
The mere thought of love might even bother you. Images of foot-popping kisses, mushy-gushy chatter, and making “googly” eyes makes you want to roll your eyes.
Take heart (pardon the pun), you aren’t alone in the contempt for all things “Valentine.” The disdain for setting aside a particular day to show off expressions of love measured by human standards is understandable. The sentiment is shared by many.
And love? With all the mixed emotions and messages about what it really is, inevitably there are some bad thoughts associated with merely breathing the word. Not to mention all the misrepresentations people concoct while on a genuine search for love.
Is it possible the negativity we may feel surrounding this day comes from a false representation of love?
If so, then what is love . . . really?
This is Love
When we allow culture to define the things God made, we are bound to get them wrong—at a minimum they will be corrupted—but worse than that, we run the risk of missing God’s intention for this “crazy little thing called love.”
In fact, when we try to express the meaning of love apart from God’s word, we end up with a twisted concept. Then we can scarcely recognize true love even when we are “shot through the heart” with it.
1 John 4:10 says:
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV, emphasis added)
“This is love.”
Interestingly enough, the next phrase is “not that we loved God.” And yet, God sent love to us through His Son, Jesus, while we were unloving, undeserving, and downright rebellious.
What is the essence of God sending His Son?
By Invitation Only
Sacrifice as defined by Merriam-Webster is “destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else.”
The ultimate sacrifice of death can be the greatest example of love there is, but what’s the big deal? People die every day, and some even give their lives in the name of love. Why is Christ’s death set apart?
Romans 5:10: “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (NIV)
Left alone in our sinful, rebellious state, we are alienated from God, facing eternal wrath. Our sins require atonement and our relationship with God is in need of mending.
Enter a perfect, spotless lamb of sacrifice that God is pleased to accept on our behalf.
The God of the universe and creator of all things became as a created thing:
Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (NIV)
God is the initiator of love and He proved His love by providing what we need most. We need a Savior. We need atonement for our sinfulness so we can be reconciled to God.
And Jesus satisfied the price tag of our penalty. He bore the shame we had earned on our behalf. This expression of love doesn’t compare with a dozen roses sent to the office, or a romantic meal with someone special.
But God’s “Love Day” invitation?
It goes out to everyone.
So whether our Valentine’s Day is scattered with heart-shaped cards and candies or is spent alone, we don’t have to be “haters.”
There is love to be found—true love.
God gave us the ultimate love letter in the pages of His word. We are seen by Him and provided for.
And He extends the greatest gift of love to each of us that is available 24/7 if we will but by faith believe.
Photo Credit: Instant Volé via Compfight cc
Originally appeared at Ask God Today