Our picture of love is warped.
On the one hand, we have a Hallmark-created, Disney-distorted image of love that bears little or no resemblance to the gritty, daily reality of true, enduring love. It’s an un-obtainable, romantic fantasy.
On the other hand, there is a dramatic counterpoint to these saccharin-sweet sentiments – a dark and distorted view of ‘love’. Pornography and the storylines of many popular books and movies portrays a perverse picture of love as domineering and abusive or submissive and abused. It presents love as unbridled passion, power and lust – a commodity with a price tag.
True love is radically different and so much more. Sure, true love is sometimes expressed through marriage and sex and roses and chocolates. But it’s also beautifully demonstrated in friendship and family, through community and acts of charity and sacrifice. It’s complicated and difficult. It ebbs and flows. True love forgives and believes, hopes and endures, clings to what is good and denies itself retribution.
But what about the times when love seems unobtainable? When betrayals and our very humanness seem to banish love from our lives? For those of you who are struggling to give love or to accept love on this Valentine’s Day, may I remind you of the gifts that your Heavenly Father offers.
To the ugly and the scarred – Through His scars, you are healed – Isaiah 53:5
To the ones who lust and hunger but are never satisfied – He offers the bread of life – John 6:35
To the fatherless – He wants you to know that you’re His precious, beloved child – Psalm 68:5
To the rejected and discarded – The rejected One has redeemed you – Isaiah 53:3
To the ones who run away and to the ones who long to be found – He is waiting for you, with a robe and a ring – Luke 15:11-22
To the doubters and the seekers – Seek Him. He will be found – Proverbs 2:1-6 Luke 11:9-10
To the weary and the weak – He will bring you rest – Matthew 11:28
To the grieving and the hopeless – He will carry your sorrow – Isaiah 53:4
To the broken and bruised – He was broken and bruised for you – Isaiah 53:5
To the lost and the wandering – He is relentlessly looking to find you – Matthew 18:12-14
To the whores and the harlots – He waits by the well, with water to quench your thirst – John 4:7-26
To the unloved and the unlovely – the Bridegroom is entranced by your beauty – Song of Solomon 4:1-3
Whether you feel cherished or neglected, valued or worthless, I pray that today you would receive God’s gift of love – a love that is boundless in mercy and available to all. It is a love that is true, a love that endures and a love that never fails.