Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Redeeming Valentine's

I know I am a little early to post this, but maybe early is good . . .

Valentine's Day is next week.

Our local Walmart has AISLES of stuffed animals (some bigger than my 4 year old!), chocolates in various sized heart shaped boxes and tons of cartoon character themed cards.

The holiday has become very commercialized and it is SO easy to become cynical about all the hype. But before we write off St Valentine and all that goes with him, let's take a look at the holiday as God-sent opportunity.

Like all holidays, Valentine's Day gives us an opportunity to reflect.

Our culture chooses to use this holiday to highlight one specific definition of love, a romantic love. Yet, as Christians we are called to be counter-culture. 

  • As Christians we have a deeper definition of love. 
  • As Christians we have experienced a love that is deeper, richer, greater than any other kind of love that could be celebrated. 
  • As Christians we are the recipients of God's most amazing love - and that is something that is definitely worth celebrating.

The preschool where I work hosts "Jesus Loves Me" parties on the program day closest to the 14th. We are intentional to use this holiday to teach the children that Jesus loves them and that He loves them more than anything they can imagine. I tell these little ones that God loves them much more than I do and even much more than their parents. 

As a parent, when I am loving my kids the way the Bible tells me I should, I get a glimpse into how much my Heavenly Father loves me. Yes, I am modeling for them how God loves them and takes care of them, but I find that He is also patiently, lovingly teaching me. He shows me how He feels toward me, how He loves me. I can understand a little more of this love for me because of the love He has given me for my children. 

As a mother of daughters, I want my girls to know that their worth will never be found in any man or his opinion of her. However, I want them to celebrate and appreciate that God has and does and will continue to love them with an amazing love that provides all the fulfillment that they will ever need. 

Valentine's Day gives us the opportunity to remember.

Maybe this would be a good weekend to observe the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, reflecting on that great love that God has for us and how He demonstrated that love for us through the gift and death of His Son, Jesus.

Maybe this would be a good time to study 1 Corinthians 13 and/or the book of 1 John. 

Maybe we should dust off an old concordance or set aside time to explore that new Bible app to do some searching for more information on God's love for His people.

Maybe we could google St. Valentine and learn the actual history of the holiday. 

Maybe it is a good thing that we are looking at "love" the week before the holiday so we can be intentional to use it to grow spiritually and to glorify God in the process. 

Share Valentines. Eat special or fancy dinners. Decorate the house or front door. Do something kind for a neighbor - do whatever you do, but do it in a way that you talk about and remember God's definition of love. 

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