WARNING: THIS IS NOT YOUR REGULAR LOVE STORY!
I’ve never been truly fascinated about the whole idea of “Valentine’s day”. All through my early years as a child, I never understood why my primary school classmates exchanged sweets and crackers and hand written letters on colourful cardboards on February 14th as a symbol of “love”. I never saw my parents do anything special or different on the 14th of February every year in celebration of their love. Valentine’s day was like every other regular day for me and for the people around me. The only thing different about it was the uniform touch of red and white on every passerby on the street.
In my pre-teen years, I finally began to understand the rationale behind this day of love that everyone “in love” treasured so dearly. Although I was never directly involved, I anticipated the morning of the 14th of February every year so that I could enjoy the competitive expressions of love by teenage boys to their teenage girlfriends. I anticipated the “oohs” and “aahs” and “Praiselyn see what he gave me!” comments. And in my young mind, the best expression of this “love” that everyone seemed to share was the exchange of beautiful gifts and longer hugs. And red and white.
I do not intend to disregard the significance of this day of love. Absolutely not. In fact, I hope to be able to celebrate this special day with a significant other in the nearest future. But the point of this post is to remind you of an even greater expression of love that surpasses the most expensive Valentine package you could ever see. Today, I read through the history of Valentine’s day and I was touched by the sacrifice a man named Valentine made for the sake of love. If you haven’t heard the story before, the epitome is that a priest gave up his life so that couples could freely express their love to each other. As I read this amazing sacrifice story, my mind was drawn back to the Ultimate sacrifice of love, for love, and by the author of love Himself. And I was reminded that regardless of the great sacrifice attached to the history of Valentine’s day, the truth remains that NO GREATER EXPRESSION OF LOVE EXISTS THAN THAT WHICH CHRIST MADE FOR YOU AND I.
No other person has ever taught and represented the true meaning of love like Christ. The bible tells us in 1st John chapter 4 that God is love. Love has no other meaning outside Christ. Love is not what happens on Valentine’s day. Love is who Christ is. Love is not in the gifts that are exchanged, love is in Christ. Christ is not just the greatest expression of love, Christ is the ONLY expression of love. And so when people think they are looking for love, they are actually looking for Christ, because Christ is love. Now the question is this: how can you extend or express this love that is Christ when you’re yet to experience it yourself?
One of my favourite Latin maxims as a law student is “Nemo dat quod non habet“. It means “you cannot give out what you do not have”. This is our reality too. You cannot give out a love that you have not known or experienced. Christ was able to express love because He is the epitome of love itself. Because of love, Christ, who is love, came to reconcile us to the Father, so that by believing in that love, we too can be extensions of love to a love-seeking world. That’s the true meaning of Valentine. That’s the only meaning of Valentine. No other gift can outweigh the gift of the Father- His son. Today’s post is a call to receiving this gift. It’s a call to accept the Valentine invitation of the Father. It’s great to love and be loved. It’s amazing to receive gifts and sweet messages as an expression of love. But it’s even better to receive and enjoy the most important kind of Valentine, the BEST kind of love ever known to man, the love of the Father. Truly, no greater love exists. No greater love.
If you have never received that love, why not invite Jesus into your heart today? Why not experience a deeper and permanent kind of love today, one without heartbreaks or long distance issues? Why not accept the only expression of love today, the love of the Father? Today God is asking you to be His forever Valentine. Not just for February 14th, but for the rest of your life. I have accepted that invitation, and believe me, everyday is Valentine with Jesus. He doesn’t wait for the 14th before He shows you how much He loves you. To know Him is to know love. Hop on this love train today with me friends, I’m willing to share The Lover of my soul with you!