The flowers are wilted, the chocolates gone, and the cards tossed into a drawer. St Valentine’s day was celebrated this year by Americans, costing us $18 billion; but in 269 AD it cost St. Valentine his life! WHY? He dared to secretly perform Christian marriages, violating the Roman Emperor’s edit. It forbade young men to marry as the Emperor didn’t want his soldiers worrying about the wives back home while they were on the battlefield.
No Greater Love
We honor St. Valentine on February 14th as he obeyed God rather than man. The best definition for love, in my opinion, is found in John 15:13, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.”
- A self-sacrificing love;
- a fellow soldier falling on a grenade and sparing others;
- a father who drowns while saving his child;
- a coach who steps in front of students, taking the bullets meant for them.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Jesus said for us to love one another as He loved us. That’s a tall order because when He demonstrated God’s love to the world, it cost Him His life too.” quote=”Jesus said for us to love one another as He loved us. That’s a tall order because when He demonstrated God’s love to the world, it cost Him His life too.”]
I may not take a bullet to prove my love, but I will need to take an inventory of my life to see if I can truly love another unconditionally. If I take an honest look at my life, I might find that my motives are self-centered, selfish, and self-protective. I may be showing love by giving gifts on Valentine’s Day but what do I expect in return? Because of hurts in childhood and poor examples of love, I might not know what it looks like to love unconditionally (expecting nothing in return).
By going through the Crossing2Freedom classes, I gained the tools to examine my life and allow Holy Spirit to reveal the hurts, wounds, bitterness, and unforgiveness I harbored in my heart. By accepting Jesus’ payment for my own sins and failures, I received God’s forgiveness and healing. Now I can love others as Jesus loves me because I can truly forgive as I have been forgiven. It is a daily giving up my self-protective ways to be vulnerable in relationships so that true love can be expressed. Jesus said to love my neighbor as I love myself.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Yes! I love myself because I look at myself through His eyes, seeing forgiveness and unconditional love. I have forgiven myself and can now easily forgive others, from the past, the present and future!” quote=”Yes! I love myself because I look at myself through His eyes, seeing forgiveness and unconditional love. I have forgiven myself and can now easily forgive others, from the past, the present and future!”]
Giving chocolates, flowers, and Valentine’s cards is a tangible way to express love to another but laying down my life in a self-sacrificing way will last far beyond the wilted flowers, an empty chocolate box, and cards in a drawer. I want to demonstrate unconditional love every day, not just on Valentine’s Day. What about you?
“Father, in Jesus’ name, fill us with your love so we can love others.”