Valentines day can be so heart warming when you’re in love ❤ … and heart wrenching when you’re not. </3
Married, single, divorced, dating, whatever your status, if you’re not feeling loved when February 14th rolls around, it’s like having a magnifying glass placed over your loneliness, bringing more light and awareness of just how painful love can be.
What causes us to even feel love? Is love only felt (and expressed) in romantic relationships? In human relationships? Surely you are shaking your head as you think about how much you love your kids, parents, dogs, etc.
Flowers and chocolates aside, disregard the carnal relationship you’re in (not in reality, just for the sake of reading this post), and let’s take just a minute to explore the origin of love, and the purpose of it… just for grins.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs, the need for love and belonging is essential to survival of a human being, V-day or not. So if the need for love is innate, the act of loving instinctual, where does the love come from and get shared with in the absence of romance, family, pets…?
You know where I’m going with this, I’m not a screenwriter so predictability is acceptable here… we are designed for the exchange of love with God. (note the phrase exchange of love, and the emphasis on exchange)
Let’s look at the Bible’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Patience being a passive form of loving, is God not the perfect example of patience? With his careful consideration of details in the creation of… everything, and the unbelievable tolerance of free willed humans, could He be anymore patient??
And kindness… the more active expression of love, welp, we just need to put God’s picture next to the definition as He demonstrates more acts of kindness than any human could possibly deserve.
A great example of our selflessly loving God is John 3:16. John W. Ritenbaugh explains in The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness; “None of God’s beneficence in any way means He approves of the conduct of sinful men, but rather it is a revelation of His nature that, despite men’s wickedness, He has benevolent feelings toward them. He earnestly desires their happiness and is sincerely devoted to helping them make a success of life. The whole world lies in wickedness (I John 5:19), and mankind is unable to extricate itself from it.
Part of God’s solution is to give a blessing, a gift, by which all the sins of humanity can be met and paid.”
God is crazy for us.
I’ll wrap it up so you can get back to focusing on this day of romance with all your earthly loved ones… but hopefully with a new perspective on the purpose of love and a deep rooted acceptance of how much you are loved regardless of your relationship status on facebook… 😉
We’ve determined that God is the ultimate model of love. (if you missed it, read the above again – patience, kindness… Jesus)
Considering how the Holy Trinity exemplifies a relationship of eternal and mutual love, theologian Gregory Nazianzen determined “Good, [His loving generosity], must be poured out and go forth, to multiply the objects of Its beneficence….”
Essentially, God is love (1 John 4:8) and His every action flows from His nature. (emphasis mine)
We feel love because our very existence is an extension of God’s love.
Shortly after the scriptures tell us that God is love, they tell us, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
We are instinctively loving because we are loved.
“Love,” says writer, Fr. Michael Nasser of Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Mission of Bowling Green, Kentucky, “isn’t only why He made us; it is also how He made us. He made us to be able to receive His love…” (emphasis mine)
We have an innate need for love because His love fills that need.
While it is good and holy for us to serve, love and worship Him, we must understand that this is reactive love, and is not required by God. However, when we know God’s love for us, we naturally want to exchange it with Him, doling out praise and thankfulness, loving Him in return, and then ‘multiply the beneficence’ by extending it, sharing it, spreading it.
Yup. God is sweet on you. With a self sacrificing, undying, and abundant love, God is your Valentine. Today, and everyday. Feel His love and own your status as His. Then love like Him. ❤