If you’re looking for a cutesy article about chocolate and flowers and teddy bears and hearts and Pinterest pictures, I encourage you to keep looking elsewhere. This Valentine’s Day, while I will most definitely be celebrating in traditional ways, will look much different for me. And I hope it will look different for you, too.
You see, love is the most beautiful thing on this Earth. Love shared and expressed between friends, family members, couples, and yes, even animals, is just plain amazing. Life would be nothing without this complex noun and verb.
Without sounding “cliché Christian teenage girl”, I would love to encourage you to reflect upon, grow in, and act on your love for your Lord and Savior as you pass out cartoon-covered cards or whip up a heavenly chocolate dessert. I always have a hard time when people say “I love Jesus” or “Jesus is the love of my life” because in my head I’m screaming “But what on earth does that mean?!?!” I so desperately long to feel the emotion of love when I think about the One who died and rose again in order to spend eternity with me, yet sometimes devos and prayer seem like a mere drudgery. I used to think I was alone in this, but I have since learned that absolutely every follower of Christ has those days and months and even years when time with Him does not fill you with warm fuzzies and a fiery passion.
However, right now I am in a place where I just really do love Jesus. I roll out of bed and onto my knees to spend the first minutes of my morning committing my day to Him. For the rest of the day I am consumed with thoughts of what the Lord is doing in my heart and in the hearts of those around me and I cannot wipe the smile off my face for my life (not that I would want to). My conversations with my friends and family are full of praising His glorious goodness. I guess you could say I am head-over-heels. I have no idea how long this season will last, but I am so hopeful that there are actually little steps I can take to get to this place and keep it this way. Would you like to hear them? Oh good, I hoped so. (Some of them are from my own thoughts and some are from my youth pastor.)
First off, I will play Captain Obvious and point out that God made us in His image, including the way we interact with others. When we love somebody, we invest energy, time and resources into the relationship. We listen to them while they pour out their thoughts and we rely on them to listen to us as well. God made us to do this. I think that’s how we should love Jesus too. We should think about Him and how to please Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, and tell other people how great we think He is. It really is that simple, yet I know it doesn’t always work out perfectly or even well.
I also know for a fact that a major fire-extinguisher in our walk with Christ is focusing on our circumstances. Life-changing decisions and little annoyances alike fill our thoughts and take our eyes off our Strength and Comforter. I have been practicing fixing my eyes back on the prize in those moments and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer. As we focus more and more on Christ by repenting of selfishness and focusing on thanking Him for every little thing in our day, we will be free to receive what He has for us.
If you are still not feeling the love, get yourself around people who are. It may not be your parents or people you think should be in love with Christ, because everyone has dry spells or gets busy etc… Think about who is literally bursting with joy and peace and life, chances are they are deeply in love with their Lord and Savior. Hopefully you will be able to catch a spark and fan your own flame.
A specific way I am going to try to learn more about God’s love for me is by reading through the Bible with rose-colored glasses, if you will. Not in a literal sense, but basically reading through the Bible looking for very specific evidence of His love for me, His creation. Whether it is a tough-love punishment for the Israelites or a tender-hearted statement from Jesus, I want to see the different threads of the greatest love story ever.
Will you join me in this revolutionary approach to Valentine’s Day? If you do, please comment and tell me your plans or results-I love fellowship sooo much.