Friday, February 13, 2015

my valentine


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  You can go struggle or google for yourself the beginning of the holiday and the tradition, yet I want to remind you that the first one who ever loved us was God.  We’ve come to know that personally.

It never gets old to hear someone talked about how they learned that God loved them.  Yesterday I listened to the testimony of a man who hasn’t been in church in many years, but something clicked this week.  He is not only back in church but sharing His faith.

Coming to know and believe God’s unconditional love changes every thing.  God loves us, His children, no matter what.  He loved us when we were in sin.  He loved us before anyone else could love us.  God will love us when everyone else has forgotten us.  Real love is something that we have to learn or must learn best from our God.

Thus, I will turn this post to be bit more personal in nature.  I don’t have to guess who my valentine is.  20 and a half years ago I married my valentine.  She is Julie, and we have shared so much through the years.

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.

The favor of God is one thing we must Sunday and seek.  One of the first ways I saw a clear picture of His favor was in the returned love from Julie and before we were married. 

I know my mom loved me unconditionally, but this other demonstrated this God kind of love in sweet and refreshing ways.  And she keeps on.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Let’s be honest.  Loving is not always easy.  We need the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13 to remind us of how we experience and how we give this love.  One of the best ties that comes with the giving and receiving of love is the word “hope”.  Love offers hope.

Authentic love doesn’t give possible hope or partial hope.  Real love gives complete hope.  Nothing will remove that love.  This love is always faithful.  God’s love is …. It is always present and always real.

I’ve experienced this from my valentine.  Julie embodies what love looks like, acts like and how it exists.  And I am so grateful.

Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

That’s a commandment with a promise.  I draw your attention to something I heard some time ago and have heard several times since.  Whatever we give our wives, they will give back.  Is it good?  It is bad that we give them?  Real love offers the best and brings out the best in the ones we love.

It is a challenge for a husband to love His wife the way God tells us to love.  That is not because our wives are hard to love.  It is because the world has so perverted love and our flawed lives lead us to be selfish and to offer love based on conditions.  That is far from how God loves us and how we are to love others.

Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

God’s love surrounds us.  God’s love builds our hope like nothing else can.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

That’s my valentine.  Julie is beautiful, more today and when we met 21 years ago.  She is worthy of my praise and encouragement.  She is worth of even more then the love that I can give to or share with her. 

So, let me give you a big of a challenge… stop allowing your valentine to change!  Like a young teen, stop giving your love to only those who will accept it and meet your needs.  Stop living out conditional love.  Start living out authentic, kind and unconditional hope that is based in God’s kind of love.  People need that.  My valentine is that. 

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.

That is what God wants for you and me.  We can allow and even must allow our relationships to brew real love that brings out the best the people we share love with.

I am excited that on Valentine’s Day and every day my Julie is my gift from God.  I love her and pray that she not only knows it but believes.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my Julie!!!

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