Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebrate Love

I just want to encourage you to celebrate love - regardless of your marital status. So many times when one is single, they feel annoyed at holidays, such as Valentine's Day, that seem to emphasize their singleness or exalt marriage. What many singles may not realize is that sometimes married people are not excited about Valentine's Day either. It could be that the celebration has become a farce, as two people are more like cohabitants than loving spouses. For some, it may be another day of dashed dreams and unrealized expectations.

But we should all celebrate love because God loves us universally, without regard to whether or not we are attached to another person. His love motivated Him to give us all the very best He had. John 3:16 lets us know that the gift of eternal life was motivated by the love of God. Too many times we seek fulfillment through a person, not realizing that they cannot give us what we need - they do not have the capacity to satisfy our soul.

We have got to learn to extend grace to those around us - we are all imperfect - none of us is able to completely fulfill another person. While you are making a list of how those around you have fallen short of your expectations, keep in mind someone may be making the same list concerning you! And there's nothing wrong with that. In our humanity, we cannot meet all of another person's needs.

I'm not saying that if you are married you should not attempt to meet some of your spouse's needs; that is part of our obligation. But we cannot hold ourselves in an exalted position by virtue of the fact that we are married; it does not make us superior to those who are not. And those who are single should not begrudge or envy those who are married; each circumstance has its own unique privileges and perils. There are positives and negatives on both sides of that coin.

If we are going to celebrate love, really celebrate it, we must go beyond attaching love to a marital or familial status. We have to look at the source of love - God. The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:7-8), and that because we are in Him we are obligated to also love one another.

Not only that, we are called to love ourselves. If you cannot celebrate another person, if you will not be celebrating with another person, please take some time and celebrate yourself. Your value is not tied up in a ring or a ceremony that may or may not have taken place. Your value is determined by the one who created you - and unless you're a twin, you were born single, and even twins don't come out at the same time. Every individual is of great price to God (Psalm 8).

I want to encourage you to see yourself through the eyes of love-motivated sacrifice - the eyes of God, and of Jesus Christ, who displayed the greatest love of all by laying down His life on our behalf. They love you, and I do too.

Happy Valentine's Day.