Valentine’s Day can stir up so many memories, both good and bad, hopeful and disappointing, meaningful and forgettable.
Back in grade school, we would get to go all out and decorate our own card boxes, which I always thought was just the best. Then we would walk around the classroom and put our sweet Valentine cards into each person’s box, secretly hoping to get one from someone extra special. It was so much fun to look at each card.
In high school, just a simple card was no longer enough. Valentine’s Day was turned into elaborate shows of affection. Deliveries were made throughout the day, and we would wait to see if our name would be called to come to the office for something after school. Chocolates, balloons, stuffed animals, and flowers would line the office floors, and everyone thought you were so special and lucky and loved if your name was called to have a special Valentine to take home.
My high school boyfriends always joined in the show, and I felt so bad for the disappointed hearts that day — the ones who’d wished they had received that extra show of love. Looking back, I know that just because you got the big, showy Valentine’s gift delivered to school for everyone to see, it didn’t mean you had a great love and a perfect relationship. That just wasn’t the truth.
Then there’s Valentine’s Day as a married couple. Women often see amazing, grand gestures splashed across social media or displayed in romantic movies. We might think that our husbands should be doing the same things or that they’re not romantic enough. First off, we don’t know what’s really happening behind closed doors in the marriage of the woman who’s posting all the over-the-top things her husband did for her on Valentine’s Day. Second, romantic movies are just that — movies, written to sound and look perfect. And third, our husbands often might show their love in other ways.
From grade school to high school through marriage, I see a continuing thread: We just want to be wanted. We want to feel wanted. We want to be shown that we are wanted. It’s more than just the feeling of being wanted by a crush, a boyfriend, or a husband. We also want to feel wanted by others — by friends, a team, a group. And when we aren’t, we feel disappointed or less than.
In reality, no human can fill the love gap in our hearts. All of us are broken, with imperfections, flaws, and shortcomings. But the One who can truly fill us, the One who’s always wanted us is God.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1 (NIV)
We are wanted. We belong. We are loved. We are His. He loves us deeper and wider than any human can comprehend, and we are part of the greatest love story every created.
It’s a love that goes beyond all the pink and red heart-shaped boxes, chocolates, flowers, wooing, or whatever other ideal we have in mind for Valentine’s Day. Those things will never satisfy even though we think they will in the moment.
Nothing in this world will compare to the demonstration of love Christ showed for us on the cross.
Friends, we belong to Love Himself. Delight and rejoice today in the truth that you are fully, unconditionally, and eternally loved by a man — by a God — who gave His life for you. What we have longed for all along, we already have in Him.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)