“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”John 13:34
It is often said that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday”, but that might be said by some cheap men who shy away from buying anything for the love of their life. It never hurts to tell someone you care about that you love them, and it never hurts to show them love on a special day. Love should not, however, only be celebrated on just one day but it should be celebrated 365.
When Rebekah and I were dating in junior high, we wanted to have 11 kids and we thought our love would last forever. We were in a puppy love situation and we actually broke up two times before finally tying the knot. Our first Valentine’s Day was mired in controversy as Rebekah was trying to choose between me and another guy who was better looking. I won out and she decided to stay with me which I was quite excited about at the time. It was our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, and I knew I had to win her heart back from the other she was doting on.
I sold my basketball cards for a whopping 20 bucks, so I could buy her a gift. I should have held out for more, but I was a desperate for cash. I took my money to the corner drug store and bought her roses, a card and some cheap chocolate. She seemed to like the gifts I gave her, and I felt like this would seal the deal for all time for me. I was on cloud 9 that day, and I thought that feeling would last forever. We continued to date for a couple more months, but soon our relationship was on the rocks, and the second round ended three months later.
Our love was not meant to last at that time as we were young and really didn’t fully understand the true meaning of love. I am thankful our story did not end that way, and we have now been married for over 22 years. The love described in the verse above talks about a love that is patterned after the love God has for us. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God’s love is a love that is not based on our merits but based on His merits. A love that is not conditional and a love that will last forever. A love that was willing to give His Son to pay the price for our sins, and a love that fully knew our wicked, sinful condition but choose to love us anyway. His love was not based on silly Valentine’s Day gifts like drug store roses, but it was shown to us by His gift of salvation. He loved us to the end, and He commands that we love one another in the same fashion as He has loved us.
Maybe you feel lonely on Valentine’s Day because you think there is no one special in your life. We often associate Valentine’s Day with love, but we often forget about the One who loves us with a perfect, everlasting love. We often forget to love others as we have been loved by Him. Do you realize the great gift of God’s love? Do you love others as He has loved you? Are you thankful for His love? May we not forget that He loves us, and may we show that love to others every day of the year.