For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.John 3:16
What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Does it conjure images of red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, chalky conversation hearts, or awkward middle school dances? Do you resent Valentine’s Day because you’re single, or you’re broken hearted, or you think the holiday is too commercialized? Do you love it because of the pink and red palooza that it evokes? Is it blissful because you’re in a relationship or is it irritating for the same reason? Finally, if you’re like me, do you love Valentine’s Day because it provides a special occasion to tell everyone around you those three important words:
I love you.
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I firmly believe that Valentine’s Day is not (or shouldn’t be) all about romantic love. I don’t think Valentine’s Day should be reserved only for couples in committed relationships. I love so many people in my life and there are so many people who need to be reminded that they’re loved. I love my mom, my dad, my brother, all of my countless relatives, all of my friends, my boyfriend, my teachers and professors, and all of the priests, deacons, sisters, and missionaries whom I’ve met throughout my life. I spend every Valentine’s Day reminding my friends, family, and everyone I encounter that they’re loved.
In his time, Jesus was a radical. He loved, and still loves, without reserve. During his earthly ministry, he welcomed the sinners and embraced the outcasts. He loved them not for what they’ve done, where they placed their worth, or where they found their identity, but because they were created with such care by their Heavenly Father and they were created to be loved. As followers of Christ, we’re called to love the same way. We have to overlook the bias, sins, mistakes, and hardness of our hearts to love the people right in front of us with the pure heart of Christ. We can love each other with the love we have for Christ and fulfill our deepest desires to be known and loved by our Heavenly Father.
Just as Christ loves us recklessly, sacrificing himself in the greatest act of love of all time, I want to emulate his love for all of his children. Especially on Valentine’s Day, I strive to be an instrument of his love to everyone. I encourage you to do the same today by telling someone that you love them, maybe by sending this blog post to them. You never know how much they might need to hear it, but more importantly, being loved is the deepest desire of our hearts because the Lord created us for love.
~I love you! Stay radiant!