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What Does the Bible Say about God’s Love?

Is it possible for us as human beings to comprehend God’s love for us? God’s love is so huge that as the song says “If we with ink the ocean filled or were the skies of parchment made…to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry…” (“O Love of God” by Frederick M. Lehman). If we caught a good glimpse, we would be absolutely overwhelmed by it.

But everyone longs for that love. I often think about a quote by Joyce Meyer that helps me picture God’s love. “Love is not something God does, it is who He is.” I know God loves me unconditionally, and yes, I realize that God is love according to I John 4:8. But still, I sometimes wonder how God can love me in his pure unconditional manner, and that love seems illusive.

It seems contradictory–God loves us without reservation but He does not love everything we do. He doesn’t. Some of you may remember the movie “Dirty Dancing” in which Frances (Baby) tells her father (and I don’t remember the exact quote) “If you love me, you’ve got to love everything about me.” Sounds good, but as with many things that sound good, Baby was wrong. Yep. You read that right. If a friend says they love everything about me, that is not unconditional love. If that same friend gently helps me see when I have done wrong—for example I might have been dishonest with that friend or they saw me take advantage of someone—that to me, is love. It is not judgment; it is loving me enough to help me correct the wrongs in my life. (Now, there is a big difference between lovingly and prayerfully correcting a person and continually nagging, constantly criticizing, or trying to “fix” someone. But that is a topic in itself.)

God loves us in spite of what we may do, in spite of our anger, disbelief, rebelliousness, bad habits, addictions, and you name it. (Something in your life probably came to mind as you read this.) But does that mean we continue in those behaviors because, after all, God will still love us, right? Yes, God will still love us, BUT because of what our sin (wrong behavior) does to us and to others, He wants us to turn from those sins. Can you see that? God loves us so much, He wants us to turn from behaviors that are not good for us. 

When we turn to him, the things controlling us will start to fade away. It may be very gradual. We might not even notice the changes, but they are occurring. I admit I have heard of people who immediately had victory over smoking or drinking alcohol. One lady’s negative attitude changed to an amazing ability to find joy in life, and her very countenance reflected this. But for most of us, change is a process. 

A Moment to Reflect

Love is who God is.

In His love God sent His son, Jesus, who died to pay the price for your sins and mine.

In repentance, we turn away from the sin and to God. That is the only way to defeat sin. We can’t just “try our best” to behave better. While we still have a decision to make regarding sin, the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us make good decisions.

Don’t beat ourselves up when we have sinned. Turn from that particular sin. Know Jesus’ arms are waiting, and He will forgive. He may not love the behavior, but He loves you.

Don’t equate mistakes with sin.  A sin is not necessarily what angers others or even what makes us feel guilty. Get that straight. If we have a difficult time distinguishing between sin and guilt feelings, we can ask for God’s guidance, and read what God’s word says is sin. God will relieve the guilt and shame as we look to Him. 

Prayer

God, I know You are here with me, and You love me as no other can. Help me be aware of that always, and help me to know that You do forgive. You are so crazy about me that it is hard to imagine the depth of Your love. Help me to turn to You for guidance and to find godly Christians who can help me in my walk with You.  

Scriptures to read:  I John 4:8; John 3:16; Acts 20:21; I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:1

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Encouragement, Uncategorized

A New Way

The Lord says—who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters, Don’t remember the prior things; don’t ponder ancient history. Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 CEB

What goals or dreams do you have for the New Year? We often become discouraged when we don’t reach our goals during the year, or we make resolutions and feel ashamed because we cannot seem to keep them. January finds us in the gym, and by the end of February we’ve tapered off and the desire is no longer new and fresh. Our goal to write a book, to make the football team, to have a venue for our artwork, to see a marriage restored or to see a wayward child return may seem stymied by impossible circumstances.

I believe God wants us to dream and to create goals. But He wants to be included in those. So we need to discuss them with Him. Talk to Him about goals and plans and whatever wild ideas you may have. Present your ideas to Him without fear. Then consider these things as you pray:

  • Is this goal/dream/plan/idea a Biblical one? Is there any part of it that would violate God’s word?
  • Is this in His will for my life?
  • Do I need to seek godly counsel or input from Christian friends? This is almost always an excellent idea. Counsel from others can help us find a fresh perspective or guide us to the next step in reaching that goal.
  • Is the Holy Spirit leading me? Now that I’ve spoken, am I waiting to hear His voice?

Don’t be afraid to dream big dreams, to ask God for the impossible, and trust Him to help you conquer those insurmountable obstacles. God loves to show off by doing what seems impossible and what we could not do without Him.

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Prayer:

Dear Lord,  I want to follow you in all I do and accomplish the dreams you have for me.  Help me listen for Your still, small voice. I trust You to guide me, and I know You can do the impossible.

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The Savior and His Mother at the Cross

Based on John 19:17-35.

As I type the words of the title, my heart wrenches for Mary, the mother of Jesus. I can’t imagine her absolute grief as she watched Him die in such agony. When my son died, he was in a hospital where the doctors and nurses did everything they could for him. They were compassionate and concerned. Even so, my sorrow was great.

Now I try to put myself in Mary’s place. Her situation is just the opposite of mine. The Roman soldiers deliberately torture Jesus as they put Him to death. I won’t get into all He suffers and all the physical details of crucifixion. Suffice to say, it is a slow, painful death.

And Mary is watching.

The soldiers show no concern—they are just following orders. Execute the man who calls Himself the king of the Jews. And do it in a way that is not quick or easy. They even gamble for his clothes while the Son of God hangs near-naked on a cross.

And His mother is there.

Other women are with her, including Mary Magdalene. John his beloved disciple stands with them. We’re not sure how long Mary stays at the cross, but when Jesus sees her and the disciple whom He loves, He declares the tender, practical words, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” I think of the strength it must have taken to say those few words and wonder if he wanted to say anything else. “I love you, Mom,” or “You’ve been a great mother,” or perhaps “Thank you for all you did for me growing up.”  But His strength is gone.

Is this the moment the steel pierces her heart—the sword that Simeon predicted when Jesus first came to the Temple as a baby (Luke 2:34-35)?

While Mary’s eyes are blurred with tears and Roman soldiers taunt and torture our Savior, He takes the time to show a son’s love for His mother. With the rough wood against His beaten back—still fresh with wounds from the lead-tipped whip—He reaches out and cares for His mother.

At this time in history, it is important for a son to make sure His mother is cared for. As I’ve said before, life could be very difficult for women who had no husband, son or other male relative.

I’m not sure why Jesus does not assign the responsibility to one of His brothers. Perhaps it is because the beloved disciple is there at the cross, and He wants to make sure this detail is not left undone. Perhaps his brothers still have hard feelings towards Him, do not understand Jesus’ ministry, and have not spoken to him in years.

I’ve never suffered the physical or emotional pain Jesus did, but, as I consider His sweet words to His mother, I think about the times I have experienced hurt, emotionally or physically. Let me be honest. I seldom think about others when I am in serious pain. Oh no. It is all about me. Now, I don’t think God has a problem with us taking care of ourselves when illness strikes, but the fact remains that Jesus reached out to His mother while in anguish—an anguish I cannot imagine.

Let’s take a look back and consider how Jesus acts towards His mother at another time. In Matthew 12, someone informs Him that His mother and brothers want to see Him. He points to those listening, to those who follow Him, and declares them to be His family. At this point in time, His sole desire is to bring others into the Kingdom so that He could relate to them as brothers and sisters and mothers (Matthew 12:46-50).

But now, the focus seems to change, and He acts as the responsible son. With the love he has shown others, He now demonstrates a love for the mother who bore Him and raised Him.

Jesus, the holy Son of God, became a man so that others can become a part of His family. Yet as human son, He made sure His precious mother would be taken care of at His death.

A Moment to Reflect

As Christ-followers, we love to celebrate the Resurrection, as well we should. But I want you think about the cross for a few minutes, and what Jesus went through. I did not get into the details, but remember that He was tortured to death by people hardened to suffering. Think about the simple statement: “Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.” The “scourging” alone probably put Him into a state of shock, and He would have been in serious or even critical condition. This is overwhelming to me. Perhaps there is something specific Jesus went through that you think is particularly heinous. Can you take a moment to thank Him for doing this for you?

Also thank Jesus for the way He ministered to His mother. Ask Him to help you see His ministry to you in a practical way. You could even ask Him to show you how precious you are to Him. Thank Him for any answers you receive, and take time to record them. Then take the time to show God’s love to another.

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Christ's compassion, Christ's Love, Uncategorized

Washing the Feet of Jesus

Scripture: Luke 7:36-50

Have you ever done something for the Lord that seemed a little strange to others, but you were so passionate about it that what others thought didn’t matter? The woman in our story today is one such person. She has a passion to worship Jesus. It seems there is something about Him that draws her—something that makes her heart ache to be in his presence.

One thing I want to mention before we go any further is that the other gospels record a story of a woman anointing Jesus. (See Matthew 26:6, John 12:3-7 and Mark 14:3-6). ) That may seem a little confusing, but for now just realize that some Bible scholars have had questions about these passages too. “Whether these accounts represent one event or two, or possibly even three, has been the subject of speculation for centuries.” (http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/women-of-the-passion-anoint-oil)

Identified only as “a sinful woman,” we see that she has a passion for Jesus and as a result, worships Him in a way that seems a little, well…extreme or “over the top” and definitely improper. She has, more than likely, seen Jesus heal, teach, raise the dead, and forgive. When she follows Him to Simon’s home perhaps she wonders if He could forgive her. Maybe she is desperate for the peace that His forgiveness might bring her.

However there are some social barriers in her way. Here she is—a known sinner (probably a prostitute or adulterer), inviting herself into the home of a Pharisee, a religious leader. She also plans to perform an act involving two things that were huge faux pas—touching a man in a society where men and women did not even address each other in public and letting her hair down for someone other than her husband.

But none of this seems to matter to her. Proper or not, she will show Jesus her love. So she anoints Jesus with oil and as she does, her eyes fill with tears, and she kneels at his feet without a word. I can hear the room grow silent. Her tears brim over, and unashamed, she uses them to wash His feet. I imagine she weeps a good bit moved by the fact that she is in His presence, before gently drying his feet with her hair. Think of it, here she is before at least fourteen men (probably more), touching Him and allowing her hair to fall freely over His feet.

At this point Simon begins to think. Perhaps he should not have for Jesus knows his thoughts–thoughts very logical to Simon–that she is a sinner, and if Jesus were a true prophet, He would not allow her to touch Him. First, Jesus tells Simon he wants to say something to him. Almost as if He’s asking for permission. But Simon’s okay with that and tells Jesus to say what’s on His mind.

So Jesus begins his reprimand by telling Simon a story about two debtors, one who owes a great deal and one who owes little. The generous moneylender forgives both debts. “Which one will love him more?” Jesus asks. Simon says that he supposed the one with the larger debt. (I think it’s cool the way Jesus let Simon figure that one out for himself.)

But He is not done.

Jesus points out Simon’s areas of negligence in performing the simple courtesies extended to visitors in that culture. Simon has not even called a servant to wash his guest’s feet. He did not greet Him with a kiss. And look at the “sinner”—she kisses, anoints, washes, and dries His feet. Not only that, but as Jesus says here, she offers these things with her own body—her tears, her hair—and performs the lowliest of services.

He then turns his attention to the woman, and I wish I could have seen the look on Simon’s face as Jesus said these words, comparing him, a religious leader to this “sinner.” We hope he begins to grasp the meaning of Jesus’ words. Maybe he is angry at the rebuke, or perhaps he has a revelation about his own character. I like to think that he becomes less judgmental after this visit with Jesus and begins to show mercy to other “sinners,” realizing he is one also.

So what can we learn from this passage?

  • As Simon perhaps figured out, we seldom understand what is in a person’s heart. Maybe on the surface, their sin is more obvious than ours, but that does not make it worse. And Jesus accepts an offering made with a worshipful heart.
  • Jesus is not at all interested in convention. He not only allows the woman’s touch, He compliments her unusual behavior.
  • Jesus forgives sin. He has such a deep well of love he does not worry about who comes to Him; He doesn’t worry about being influenced or tainted by our sin. As a matter of fact, He appreciates the openness and sincerity of the woman in our story.
  • No matter what, Jesus longs to demonstrate His love to us. Some of us may have committed the very sins that this woman was guilty of or worse. He still desires that we come to Him and lay all that “junk” on Him. He can bear the weight of our sins and the shame we may feel because of it—and I may add, the shame we may feel from what others have done to us.
  • Perhaps like me, you become emotional in public worship. Other people may think you’re a little odd for making such a big deal over Him, but I don’t think Jesus minds that at all.

And by the way, the things we have done wrong and the wrongs that have been done to us are not who we are; they do not define us. Jesus sees His followers as righteous and redeemed, and you are of great value to Him.

I invite you to listen to the words of a beautiful song by Mercy Me:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXI0B4iMLuU

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Attitude, Balance, and Sisterly Strife

I have not written in over a month, and apologize to those of you who “can’t wait” to hear from me.

Have any of you ever suffered from vertigo? If so, you have my sympathies. I could blame my delay in writing at least partially on that. It was a “fun” few days until I went to a chiropractor and she did some adjustments and showed me how to get “balanced” again. Odd exercises, but they work! And if they will keep the vertigo away, I’m there!

When a person has severe vertigo, they are pretty useless. Everything is spinning, and when you try to put your feet up under you, well, it’s not gonna happen. In my case I was fortunate to have a husband around who is a CNA and didn’t mind taking care of me (getting me to the bathroom, bringing me my meals while I laid around for three days). Walking was impossible, and I certainly couldn’t go to work. (I couldn’t even dial the number to work because my phone thought it was a child’s top.)

This little episode makes me wonder if there are others “out there” who feel out of balance and maybe even useless. You’ve tried, you’ve struggled, but things just won’t come together for you. You want to serve God; you want to spend time with Him, but your attention is turned to the tasks you must accomplish in order to survive, in order to keep everything going. And even if you are not super busy, in our world of television, movies, electronics, and other things that are designed to catch our eye and keep our attention, our focus is easily distracted from Christ.

Most of you I’m sure have read the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. If not, I invite you to open the pages of your Bible or take this link to Bible Gateway www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A38-44&version=NIV

You’ve also perhaps heard it preached on. I know I have. Several times. Now I love stories about women in the Bible but I get a little tired of trying to figure out if I am a “Martha” or a “Mary”. So I’m going to approach the story of these two women in a little different manner.

This particular account begins when Jesus who is now on his way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) passes though the unnamed village where Martha and Mary live. (Many assume this is Bethany because that is the locale mentioned in John 11.)

We see Martha opening her home to Jesus, prepared to serve her honored guest. And is she ever busy! The Bible only tells us that Martha opened her home to Him, but we should probably assume his disciples are present as the Bible seems to indicate there was a great deal to do.

But there’s a problem, and that “problem” is sitting at Jesus’ feet. Her sister Mary. I don’t know about you, but I wonder what Jesus is telling her. Are the words intended just for Mary? For Mary and Martha, or also for the disciples? I’m just curious about these things.

As Martha works, I can just see her fuming. Her sister sits while she takes care of “all the preparations”. And Jesus says nothing to that lazy Mary! Now that, my friend, is just not fair. How can He ignore her hard work?  And how can Mary be so inconsiderate? (I’m wondering how many of us have fumed in a similar way.)

Well, Martha has had enough. “Lord,” she says. “Don’t you care that I am doing all the work and Mary…she…she is doing nothing! She should not have left me to do all this. Look at her! She is just…sitting there. Tell her to come help me” (Okay, not to disrespect God’s word, but yeah, I threw in a few of my “insights”.) Her request seems fair enough. Certainly, not unreasonable.  But I do have to chuckle a bit at Mary. She starts her request with “Lord” then in the middle of it says “tell her”.

But maybe you can relate to Martha. Maybe you are totally on her side.

Lord, don’t you see me here drowning in this mess. I can’t get supper fixed for having to take care of a screaming baby. Can’t you get my husband to help?

OR

Lord, this is so unfair, I work hard at my job, but ______ only works when the supervisor is around, and yet she is favored and gets the promotion. How can You allow this injustice?

Now I don’t object to telling God how we feel. I think we should let Him know what’s going on, as if He doesn’t already. But back to the story.

Here Martha is working really hard and it seems Mary comes out as the “favored one.” Well, perhaps it’s comforting to know that Jesus gives Martha a relatively gentle rebuke. First off, He addresses her by name: “Martha, Martha…” (I feel that when God really wants to get my attention He speaks my name in that still small voice. “Now, now Eileen…” And I love it.) Notice He doesn’t tell her to quit serving but instead points out that the problem is her attitude about her serving. She is distracted or “troubled” by many things, and Mary has chosen what is better.

Wait, wait, she’s doing what’s better. Just sitting there?

Well we obviously can’t sit at Jesus’ feet like that all the time. But the only way we can serve Him (and by the way, that includes loving that co-worker or husband or whoever else you think is not doing their share) is to spend time with Him and find a way to ignore the distractions, even the things that seem to demand our time. Perhaps it’s a bit about finding “balance” in our hectic and often distracted lives.

Okay, so great, Eileen, but how do I do that? What you say sounds simple but I’ve tried and it doesn’t seem to work out for me.

I understand. I can feel your frustration for I remember the “days of yore” when I had small children, and perhaps it is your turn now—you are the mother who works outside her home, who is wrestling a baby and a toddler from the moment you get home, and by the time you get everything done just so those babies will be fed and bathed and put to sleep, you fall into bed exhausted, whisper a prayer, and drift off to dreamland yourself. So your time with the Lord is, well…minimal. Or maybe you don’t have kids and work is just stressful or your parents are ill and you’re exhausted from caring for those.

A friend of mine faced this same frustration when her children were small, and had no idea what to do. Until one day an older lady asked her a question. “Do you have time to take a shower? Can you pray while you are in the shower?” These words were so freeing to her, and showering became her alone time with God. Maybe that seems kind of lame and maybe that won’t be the right time for you. Maybe the kids are pounding on the door or even slipping notes to you under the door whenever you’re in the bathroom. Perhaps you can find a quiet corner at work while you’re on break. Perhaps when you have some time off, you can take some extra time with God to build your relationship. But don’t feel guilty because you don’t spend an hour in prayer, or because you don’t get up at 5:30 a.m. to pray.

And I can hear you: Like sure, I can do that. I was only up until 3 with a sick child. No problem. (Told you I understood.)

Don’t worry about the “giants of the faith” who set this “standard”. You are you. And God knows, and He understands.

And for those of you who can spend an hour or more a day praying and exploring your Bible, I encourage you to keep things balanced as well. It may be just as hard for you to avoid the guilt that tries to grab hold of you when you spend that time with Him.

Do you see? Satan has us coming and going. If we don’t spend enough time with God we’re guilty. If we spend the amount of time we feel we need, we feel guilty because we’re not “doing” enough.

Whatever your situation, whatever your phase in life, hold onto Him. Keep Him before you. Maybe simply pray His Name to restore your focus. Ask Him to remind you of His presence. He will bless you, as you seek Him. Don’t worry if it’s not “enough”. He loves you so much, dear ones.

Oh, oh, oh, and guess what happens in another passage? We see Martha interacting with Jesus in a very different way. But I’ll save that for another time. (If any of you want homework, read John chapter 11.)

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Mothers and Not-Mothers

Odd title, I admit, but just keep reading, and I’m hoping you’ll “get it”.

Mother’s Day is almost here. It is a wonderful time to celebrate our mothers and if we are really blessed, to have someone celebrate us as “mom”.

But for some, Mother’s Day can be painful. Okay, I hate to be negative about holidays. I dump on Valentine’s Day and now Mother’s Day.

Woman, what is wrong with you?

Well here goes. I personally know how hard Mother’s Day can be. My husband and I lost a child in December of 1892 —just kidding, we’re not that old, but on December 4, 1979 (still a long time ago for some of you) our first son was born prematurely. He lived for only for fifteen days. That did not make for a pleasant Christmas. Did not make for a pleasant Mother’s Day the following May. And you know when you go to church, how they make such a big deal over Mom’s Day. “If you’re a mother, would you please stand?” kinda thing. Well, okay, I was a mom, but what’s a mother without a child? What do you call that person?

Whew! This is hard to write, but for some, you know what I am talking about.

The next Mother’s Day was tough as well, and the next, and a couple more…because now, guess what! My husband and I struggled with infertility. Fortunately it was not one of those “forever” struggles, and about five years after we lost Michael, our daughter was born. Can I just begin to tell you how much she meant to us? I mean, I could actually hold this baby! Wow. And I got to take her home! And I got to tuck her in at night. And…well, some of you know the sweetness of a newborn baby.

But…sometimes our dreams die and they are never revived. Can I just say how I hurt for those of you going through this? Not just for the ones who have lost a child, but for many who want a child and the months go by, each one bringing hope, and every month that hope fades a little more. It can be a harsh cycle of hope, hope dying, grief (yes, grief), then hope again and so on. And there are those well-intentioned folks who will tell you, “You can always adopt,” or any number of things that I won’t get into right now. And by the way, we can’t “always adopt”. That is another huge discussion that I may let a friend of mine weigh in on.

And I know there are some who choose not to have children for whatever reason, and I will respect that. You may be freer to minister to others. Perhaps you may carry a genetic disorder for a disease that could be fatal, and you don’t want to risk passing that on. (For the argument about Paul’s letter in which he says: “Women shall be saved in childbirth”, please don’t take that out of context because believe me it can have a whole other meaning than a surface reading can give you. Maybe we’ll take a look at that some other time.)

Then there are those who have lost their mother. Some at a very young age, and some of us when we were older. My mom passed away over fifteen years ago and I still think about what I need to get her for Mother’s Day, then the realization….oh, wait. Never mind.

I think that all women should be honored at Mother’s Day. No, really. Whether or not you ever have children or adopt children, you should be honored. My pastor’s wife feels the same way, and every year she makes something for each of the ladies who attend church on Mother’s Day. Her reason?  She puts it something like this: All women have an ability to nurture. All of us can influence the next generation.

And there are countless ways to do this whether it’s working with kids in church, loving on your nieces and nephews, taking a younger woman under your wing as a mentor or caring for a neighbor (maybe even an elderly neighbor setting an example for your own as well as other generations).

For those of you struggling with issues of infertility,  or a lost child, let me leave you with these verses:

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

So what about you moms who are struggling to get things done, struggling with children who do things you “never would have done” and so on? (Because I know what that’s like too.) Perhaps you feel like you “should be thankful” for your kids, or you “should be better” at this or I “should be like other moms whose kids always look nice” or whatever “should’s” you tell yourself, I’d like to let you in on a secret. If you are seeking the Lord, praying for your children, and asking God for guidance, I believe you are a good mom! Yup, you heard me. God sees our hearts. He really does understand your desires, and He will honor you by helping you get through each day.

I pray each of you today would feel God’s arms around you and let Him love on you. Take a moment to be the kid. Today you are the one with the skinned knee or cut finger and you need some “Daddy-time”. Take that hurt to Him, and let Him “kiss it and make it better”.

One other thing and I’m done. About six years after our daughter was born we had another son. (I don’t mean to leave you as a P.S., Sam. I just couldn’t figure out how to work you in.) And I do know that our little Michael waits for us in heaven, is having a blast, and we will see him again. Have hope and find joy and comfort in the Lord, sweet ones.

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Happy(?) Valentine’s Day

It is almost Valentine’s Day. To some of us it’s no big deal. We are secure in a wonderful relationship, and we just don’t go all out for it. Others make sure they have reservations for a candlelight dinner with all the trimmings. Chocolates, flowers, followed by a night of romance. (Yes I went there). The problem is that many of you are not in a relationship and it just seems to rub your nose in the fact that you are single. (And I do know there are many contented singles.) You are not part of a couple but are “just a single.” The loneliness you feel may be compounded by this one simple holiday. Maybe you can handle Christmas, Thanksgiving with no one to call your own, but this…this Valentine’s Day is painful for you.

Why do we make a big deal about Valentine’s Day? (And we do make a big deal of it. Go into any retail business almost and see the stuffed animals, the candy, cards, and so on.) I think part of it is our sexual culture, and how sex is overemphasized at this time of year. It actually puts pressure on us I think, especially as women, to have sex with someone whether we are married to that person or not. Don’t believe me? Look at the lingerie advertisements. Go into a certain well-known bargain store, and look! Skimpy nightgowns proudly displayed as you walk down the front aisle. I heard on LPB news that this same store is selling (ahem) “certain items” from a popular “romance” novel.

I read an article in which the author wondered why we can’t be more like kids in elementary school and just send all our friends a Valentine card. Everyone was our “Valentine” when we were in elementary school. Okay, some people might think that is silly but the idea has some merit. Seems we could at least include a single friend in the festivities by sending them a card or chocolates or something. How do you think your single friends would react? Would they be grateful? Embarrassed? I’m not sure, but I think most of them would appreciate the effort.

Here’s the good news: we always have a Valentine. A very special One. Christ is always with us as believers. His Holy Spirit resides in us. So this Valentine’s Day, whether single or in a relationship, take some time to love on God, let His healing hand touch your heart as you celebrate the tremendous love he has for you. No one knows true love better than the Heavenly Father.

“Love is not something God does, it is who He is.” ~Joyce Meyer

John 3:16
I John 4:8

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