Valentine's Day is right around the corner and stores are a sea of red and pink, complete with displays of plush teddy bears and candy filled heart boxes. Commercials all over TV and radio are an ode to love and romance. X's and O's are thrown about with reckless abandon. Roses are being ordered by the dozens. Love is in the air.
For the unattached, without a significant other, this can be an unsettling time of year. Everywhere the single turns there is another reminder that they are alone. Flowers, once thought of as fragrant and beautiful, turn into stinking reminders of the bouquet you won't be getting on February fourteenth. The simple formation of a heart produces angst in your own heart as you once again face the fact that the holiday of red and pink is only special if you have someone special to share it with. Valentine's Day becomes not a day of celebration, but a day of survival. Just get through it. Grit your teeth, bear the hoopla and hold your breath until the fifteenth.
The trouble with Valentine's Day is that it creates a pressure to have a significant other, a "someone special". The advertisements promote it. The card industry banks on it. Restaurants are packed because of it. We see Valentine's Day as the day where our worthiness to be loved is put on display. In our flawed, human love we have elevated this day to be the ceremonial proof that yes, we indeed are valued, adored and loved.
There is nothing wrong with expressing love and celebrating love. The joy of love is something to be celebrated. Love is an immense blessing. But love isn't reserved for just Valentine's Day. And its celebration isn't limited to only those with a "special someone." We all have a love worthy of daily, never ceasing, jubilant celebration. Whether or not you are single or you've already celebrated your golden anniversary, beloved, you do have a valentine.
God is our unfailing, perfect valentine. He has declared this love and expressed His devotion in the greatest love letter, the Bible. Jeremiah 31:3 says, "...I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness…" The Bible is full of scriptures proclaiming God's love for us. His love is evident in not only the words found throughout scripture but in the sacrificing of His Son. Through Jesus Christ we received the most perfect gift of love ever given: eternal life. Through the Holy Spirit we are given a constant companion while we journey through life on earth. God's love has provided everything we will ever need or want. He has given us provision while on earth with the promise of perfection in heaven.
His love is unconditional. We have done nothing to earn it and therefore we can do nothing to lose it. We don't have to win His love. We don't have to question whether or not we will always have His love. The love He has showered on us is forever and always. He has sacrificed everything through giving His perfect, flawless Son to die in our place because He loves us that much. He loves us in spite of the fact that we have strayed from Him and ignored Him. We have offered such flawed, imperfect love yet in His perfection He has never withheld an ounce of His love and goodness from us.
This is true love.
Love isn't a box of chocolates in the shape of heart. Love isn't the perfect gold and diamond necklace presented in a perfectly wrapped velvet box. Love isn't the teddy bear holding a sign displaying the words, "Be Mine."
God is love.
This Valentine's Day you may find yourself alone, without a date and without a reason to scour the stores for the perfect gift. Still, you have cause for celebration. Your reason for joy isn't in a man or woman, dinner date or the surprise delivery of a dozen red roses. You can celebrate alone, with a fake fern, wearing your PJ's and eating a TV dinner because you have all the love you need in Jesus Christ.
No matter who you spend Valentine's Day with, celebrate. If you are alone sing a praise to God for the love He has so lavishly poured out on you. If you celebrate in the company of your husband or wife, girlfriend of boyfriend, then share not only your love for each other but the love you have received in the unmatched gift of your Savior. Valentine's Day is the day for love no matter who you are or what your relationship status might be. This Valentine's Day, and every day before and yet to come, you are abundantly, whole-heatedly loved. This truly is the best reason for great celebration!