As one of my teenagers pointed out, “If you don’t have a significant other, you spend your day wishing you did. If you do have one you spend your day hoping not to disappoint them or be disappointed by them. Everyone is miserable. What’s the point?” God bless my little cynic.
As disparaging as this statement may be, I wholeheartedly agree. Every Valentine’s Day, no matter what my relationship status, has been filled with some degree of angst (that was until I married another cynic and we threw the holiday out all together. Thank you, Jesus!). For some, February 14th conjures up an incredible amount of expectation and hurt. And for others, the hopeless romantics of whom I cannot relate, it is a temptation to self-righteously cling to their giant boxes of chocolates, perky bushels of roses, and sappy love notes wondering what everyone else’s problem is. Or even worse, believe that their Valentine inspired works might just get God to check the yes box on their latest “Do You Love Me?” note.
Cynic or romantic, perhaps today (and every day) we would all be better off looking to the only Lover who truly speaks our love language without ever getting it wrong.
The First “I Love You”
Christ's incarnation, life, death, and resurrection were the first "I love you" spoken to this world. A gift of love from a God who longed to save us through His son.
-It was Love that reduced Him to the size of a seed in His mother's womb.
-It was Love that was helpless at the hands of first time parents.
-It was Love that grew as a boy, being completely God and man, under the submission of sinful parents.
-It was Love that perfectly served an imperfect family.
-It was Love that resisted every temptation known to man.
-It was Love that was falsely accused, mocked and beaten.
-It was Love that went to the cross without opening His mouth.
-It was Love that was humiliated and spat upon in open nakedness.
-It was Love that saved the sinner next to Him while in suffocating pain.
-It was Love that was separated from His Father, void of perfect fellowship for the first time.
-It was Love that took the most tragic day in human history and redeemed it for our Salvation.
-It was Love that united us to Himself, leaving with us the Holy Spirit so that He would still be near.
He loved you when you had no love on your lips, when the other four letter words outweighed the L-word. He knew you'd struggle to love Him back yet He chose to love you. He knew you'd love yourself more than you love others yet He pursued you as His bride. He knew you'd hate your enemies yet He chose to love you even when you were His.
Some of you have heard the tender words of "I love you" since the moment you caught your first breath. Yet others still await the words you've longed to hear since you were a child. But as you and I walk in the shadow of the cross we both hear the same sweet whisper from our Savior's lips, "You are my beloved child."
No matter how many or how few times we hear the enchanting words "I love you" here on this earth we know that there is only One that truly loves us. There is only One that can speak these words and fill our souls with a love that is pure and can never be taken back.
There is a precious Love that breaks through to the broken, the self-righteous, and the cynical hearts like yours and mine. His name is Jesus and he calls us his Beloved.