Valentine’s Day

Our culture loves love.

We worship it. Set aside a day for it, capitalizing on the fact that our world loves love.

How about the music industry?

How many countless songs have been written about love, about relationships, about falling in love or falling out of love or being confused by love?

How many more have been written about trying to find love, or even a decent one-night counterfeit?

Can you even list all the song titles that have the word “love” in them? Go ahead and try. You’ll keep yourself occupied for hours.

Love is a good thing. God made it, He ordained it, He encourages it.

Love is a good thing, but love is not an ultimate thing.

 

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When I was in high school I was deeply committed to Jesus. But after some family tragedies, I broke up with Him. I began doing things purposely that I knew were wrong, to show Him we were done. It culminated into me dating someone I knew I shouldn’t.

I realize now, in looking back, that all of my value, self-worth, self-image, and basis for being alive were resting on Christ previous to that relationship. When I dumped Jesus, I took all of those chips that were resting on Him and placed them on another human being.

She became the basis for all of my value and self-worth. She became my reason for being alive. If she and I ended, all of those chips I had rested on Jesus and then delicately transferred to her to balance would go tumbling. My identity would be shattered.

I have come to realize that no human being has ever been created to handle someone else’s chips. We can’t even manage our own. Placing our chips for identity and self-worth upon anyone but Christ is an act destined for failure, because He alone is capable of carrying that load.

 

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When Adam was in the garden, the Bible says that he walked in daily communion with God.

Can you imagine that?

What would that be like?

To walk in daily communion –intimately, deeply –with God? To know and to be known by God. And to have His love anyway?

Isn’t that our greatest desire?

Tim Keller writes

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

Adam knew was he known. And he was loved anyway.

When that communion was cut off because of sin, man would be destined to a life of searching for that original power source. To roam about with a power cord that used to be connected to his creator, searching for a new outlet that could power him up without tripping the circuit.

No human can provide that much power. We become destined to an existence of flipping each other’s circuits.

 

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Enter Jesus.

He is the only one who can handle the load.

In relationships where both parties are connected to Him as the power source, there is no danger of drain, fatigue, or burn-out.

Both parties understand the nature of our mission here –not to be loved by each other, but to point others to Him.

Marriage is a good thing, but it is not an ultimate thing.

Jesus is the only ultimate thing.

And when together we run our separate races with Him as our Finish Line, we understand the true nature of relationships and do not overdraw the account.

We view it as a partnership that prepares each other for that finish line.

We view it as a reflection of the kind of relationship God desires to have with us –in which we are known and still loved anyway.

We view it, especially in its more challenging seasons, as a tool He uses in our trek towards sanctification –learning to shave off our rougher, more selfish edges, to put others first, and to become more like Christ.

 

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for love. Help us to keep it in context, this Valentine’s Day and every day. Help us to enjoy it, but to know it is meant to lead us to You, not to itself.

Amen.

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