Ever listen to the lyrics of “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles? In it she sings, “I’m not gonna write you a love song, cause you ask for it, cause you need one, you see, I’m not gonna write you a love song, cause you tell me it’s make or break in this, if you’re on your way. I’m not gonna write you to stay, all you have is leaving, Imma need a better reason to write you a love song, today.” I heard once she was inspired to write this song after a record company demanded she write them a love song for production. This could be fact or fiction but personally, I love her response to their demand and I love the song.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and as they say, “love is in the air.” I’ve been thinking about a blog topic on the subject and then recently I heard the above named song. It validated my thoughts on the subject of Valentine’s Day and love.
February 14th is a day filled with many emotions. For those married or in a relationship there is an expectation of romantic gestures that may include the traditional chocolates, flowers, jewelry and/or candle lit dinners. For those unattached, there’s a reminder that they are, well, still unattached. To some single folks, it’s a day they are even more thankful to be unattached because the pressure to meet romantic expectations from their significant other is non-existent. But this can also be a day of great disappointment when, if you’re attached, your significant other fails to “deliver” or meet your idea of romance. All in all, it’s a day filled with great expectations, false hopes and honestly, is a worldly view of love.
In thinking about what to write for this post, I researched the history of Valentine’s Day. What I discovered was a man sainted for privately marrying young lovers who were forbidden to marry because the leader of that day thought young unmarried men made for better warriors than those who had wives and children. He was reportedly martyred for his actions. The day is believed to be named after him because he reportedly sent a letter signed “Your Valentine” to a woman he loved just before his death. So the holiday is possibly named after a man who believed in marriage to the point it cost him his life. Yet somehow it’s been turned in to a commercialized holiday that measures love by expensive gifting and big romantic gestures.
I confess to you that for years I bought in to the romantic notions of Valentine’s Day. When I was in a relationship I hoped for chocolates, cards that expressed my partner’s deep love for me, roses (of course!) and a romantic night out at a fancy restaurant. I am, after all, a hopeless romantic. I love romantic comedy movies, especially when the lovers split up but get back together in the final moments of the movie and you’re left to assume they live “happily ever after.” My favorite fairytale was Cinderella and yes, there were days I dreamt of a prince rescuing me.
Funny thing about reality though-it’s not as romantic as the movies or the fairytales. I experienced some very wonderful Valentine’s Days only to be dumped later on and feeling like everything was just a lie. I have also spent many more Valentine’s Days single, alone and throwing a pity party believing I was undesirable and not relationship or marriage material.
This past year I let go of a false love I had been holding on to most of my life. It took someone I thought I deeply loved, behaving in a cowardly manner to push me to explore what real love is. My journey led me to 1 Corinthians 13 (Love is patient and kind, etc.) and 1 John 4 (God is love, we love because He first loved us.) It also took me to Romans 9 which talks about love being sincere (don’t just pretend to love others, really love them.) In the book of Psalms I discovered an unconditional love that supersedes any kind of human love, even between a parent and child. I studied the different types of love in the Greek language also. In all my exploration I learned that real love is my real God.
My God sacrificed Himself, His life even, for my salvation. He seeks to spend quality time with me every day. He desires to have the most intimate relationship a human and spiritual being can share with me. THAT is real love. He doesn’t send me chocolates but He gifts me with fields of wild flowers every summer. He doesn’t sing me love songs but He wrote the book of Psalms and the Song of Solomon reminding me of His unfailing, uninhibited love for me. He doesn’t shower me with expensive jewelry but He makes the water look like diamonds when His sunshine dances across the waves. He doesn’t take me out to romantic dinners, but I have coffee with Him every morning while reading His word and my devotionals.
If you’re married or in a romantic relationship, ask yourself this question: Does my partner love me like Jesus does? Do I love my partner the same way? If the answer is yes, praise God for experiencing His real love through your partner and for using you to be His tool of love also. If the answers is no, ask God to show you how you can start loving your partner like He loves you this very day.
If you’re single remember this, singlehood doesn’t define you. It’s a simply a relationship status. But since God never leaves us nor forsakes us, you are never alone. The next time somebody asks you about if you’re dating or married, just tell them you’re in a committed relationship with God and He’s the best partner a person could ever ask for.
One last reminder before I close-Just like we shouldn’t be thankful only one day of the year like on Thanksgiving Day, we also shouldn’t be focused on love one day year either. LOVE is a daily choice to show toward everyone God puts in your path. Let February 14th come and go and choose to love every day because God doesn’t just love you on Valentine’s Day. He shows His love for us every day.