Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Is All You Need . . .

While I am pretty such Valentine's day doesn't have an official "scrooge"  character, I know that not everyone is excited to see Cupid. There are plenty of us that feel like the day is way overblown and only really about the commercial benefit to the card, candy and flower industries. Personally, I am not ready to say "bah humbug!" I really believe that we can redeem this "holiday" for God's glory. 

I love the corny endings to romantic comedies. My favorite novel is Jane Austin's love story, Pride and Prejudice. I cry at weddings and save all the love letters from my husband in a special box in the top of my closet. I can be a total sap, a girlie girl, a hopeless romantic .  . .

. . . No, wait . . . I am not a "hopeless" romantic. I have all kinds of hope in Christ. And, you want to talk about love stories? Isn't that what the Bible is ultimately all about? 

The sad thing is that we have sacrificed God's version of love and settled for a secularized, Valentine's type of love. Our culture makes this "false" shadow of what love is as the ultimate, cheapening God's love. Our sinful natures make us think we NEED the romance. We NEED intimacy with our man. We NEED to feel loved on some sort of weird fairy tale, Disney type way. Slowly, we start feeling entitled to this "love" and it becomes self-focused. We give valentines, so we will get valentines. We feel like we are missing something if our lives don't match Drew Barrymore's role in her latest movie. So many of the teens in our church feel like they are inadequate if they don't have a significant other because that is what our society tells them they need to be whole and happy. Some of us may still be expecting our spouses to fill these roles, because we have bought into this "cheap" version of love. We give this way too much time and focus. We give it too much weight and responsibility  .. . . and then we wonder why we aren't happy . . .

My sweetie and I will exchange gifts on Saturday. We will celebrate on the day, but we won't be celebrating as the rest of the world does . . . We will be celebrating the gift of our relationship, by praising God for it. We will thank Him for His unconditional, agape love. We will encourage our daughter to think about the true meaning of love and the ultimate way that it was displayed for us. 

So, celebrate love this Valentine's Day . . . just make sure what kind of love you are celebrating!

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