Love Should Be Celebrated Year-Round

Valentine’s Day holds many expectations. Roses, chocolates, sweet messages of love, dinner out, and a romantic evening with the one you love. We’ve created this vision of an ideal celebration. But hope doesn’t always match reality. Maybe there are no flowers. Perhaps there is no candy, card, or romantic meal. Instead, February 14 comes and goes like any other day; the celebration is either ignored or avoided. 

But we should seize this day to celebrate (if we are fortunate to have that special someone OR simply by loving people in our lives). God created us to love, to express that love to others and to receive it. He set the greatest example of love, giving up His only son, Jesus Christ, for us. Wow! As a parent, I can’t imagine doing that. But He did! In Romans 5:8, we read that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God loves us that much!

By the way, even after you and I became Jesus followers, we are still sinners except we are saved! (Do you hear me saying “saved” with emphasis? We are sinners saved by His amazing grace).

God is relational. He has showed us how to love. He truly expects us to love others as He loves (John 15:12-13; Ephesians 5:25-28; 1 John 4:7-11). What if we used the spirit of Valentine’s Day to express our love to those we care about (even if they aren't our special love)?  And not to stop there, because love knows no boundaries. But here’s something to remember: it is going to take more than a special day for people to experience God’s love through us. It should be our lifestyle. Living to love, loving to live. God’s Way. That’s the true essence of loving like God.

I recently read a charming love story, supposedly true, worthy of Valentine’s Day and I’d like to share it with you.

One day at work, Amanda received a beautiful flower bouquet. In it, she counted 11 flowers and found a brief note in it. It was written in beautiful lettering and said:

“My love for you will last until the day the last flower in this bouquet dies.”

The note was from her husband who had gone on a business trip. Unsure as to what to make of the message, she went home in the evening and soaked the flowers with water. One day after another, the flowers became a little less beautiful until they all died. All but one flower. This was the day when she realized that there was one artificial flower in the bouquet that would last forever.

How nice! Though “artificial” that flower was built to last, and so was her husband’s love. Sounds like Amanda was a blessed woman!

Make loving memories this Valentine's Day and the days to come. Let’s not be so busy that we aren’t aware of people around us who need to be loved. They are in abundance. You might notice their need for love in their voices or behavior. Let's ask God to give us discernment to reach out to people who need our love the most! And what if they are undeserving of love being extended to them?

Well, the greatest Love of all, Jesus Christ, was extended to us, also undeserving. And unlike the single flower left in Amanda’s bouquet, our God’s love is anything but artificial. IT’S REAL, and I bask and bathe in it every single day. Do I have challenges – absolutely! But God’s love sees me through, time and time again.

Be someone’s Valentine – and don’t wait until next February 14 to make it so!

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