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You Are God's Favorite Valentine

By: Pastor Joesy

 

       “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.” 1 John 4:18-19 (NLT)

According to legend, Valentine's Day was started by Saint Valentine, who performed secret Christian ceremonies for soldiers forbidden to marry. Husbands were banned from military service because the emperor thought married men did not make loyal soldiers. Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, which he gave to the soldiers to carry with them as a reminder of their vows before God.

If this legend is true, Valentine's Day began as a symbol of love for one's spouse and the God who brings couples together. Regardless of the optimism in this folklore, if you're married, single, divorced, widowed or somewhere in the middle-relationships are hard.

All relationships can bring anxiety. We wonder, Will he be there for me? Would she love me if she really knew me? Can I trust him?

I grew up in a home with a conditional type of love; a love that said, “If you do what I say, I will love you; but if you don't, then I really don't care about you.” Unfortunately, this was the only type of love I knew, so I carried it into my marriage and, later, my parenting.

Thankfully, in seeing the way Jesus modeled love, I have learned perfect love casts out all fear. The love of Jesus is unconditional, and that's the way He teaches us to love others. We are able to love because Christ loves us.

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to love fearlessly. It's not just a day for romance. It can be a day of love regardless of your relationship status. John 13:34-35 reminds us, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

It's important to show the love of Christ every day, but I think a day that spotlights love is as good of an excuse as any to intentionally show people that they are valued-not because of what they've done or what they can offer us, but because of who they are (and, more importantly, whose they are).

 

Reflect and Respond:

1.  This Valentine's Day, who do you know who needs to be reminded that they are loved?

2.  How can you show God's love to the people you care about this Valentine's Day?