The catalog on top of the pile of mail weighed down the usual assortment of bills and advertisements. Its headline blared: Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, February 14. The picture featured a couple embracing, noses touching – the perfect representation of true love.
I love romance, but I also remember Valentine’s Days sitting alone in my apartment wondering why I didn’t have a special person to bring me flowers and candies. Now, married to a man I love dearly, I’m still in love with romance, yet the thought of taking only one day to celebrate love gives me pause. Love is too important to be relegated to just one day. It is something to be treasured every day – to be given away not just to a person who showers you with affection, but to everyone you meet.
Love holds tremendous power.
I’m not referring to the love pictured on the catalog. I’m talking about the kind of love God gives. Not limited by experiences, flaws or yearnings, it’s a choice and not a mere feeling. The very same love that conquered the cross on Calvary is the only love capable of clobbering a world that routinely tells us, “You aren’t good enough.”
Because we are more than enough: we are all made in the image of God, for God and by God. As such, we have value beyond our wildest imaginations. All of us are cherished by Jesus. Each of us is intelligent, loyal, talented, kind and courageous. Yet, no one is more of a treasure than the other. On Valentine’s Day, the woman who is treated by her husband to fancy dinner at a 5-star restaurant is no more valuable than the single gal who heats up a frozen dinner and watches television alone.
Due to his love, God sees us as having infinite value and infinite worth. It permeates our souls and gives us the strength to show His affection to one another. His love fills our souls in such a way that we can give ourselves away and still be filled.
In his grace, God personally wrote a love story for us. You can feel it: the way love can mend a wound, the way it can heal a life. Love allows us to live liberated and to give it away, readily, freely and without reservation.
Always remember you add immeasurable value to the world by simply being you. And the people you meet? Your teacher, barista, neighbor, colleague…they are valued and treasured, also. Be sure to remind them of that.
I believe wholeheartedly God is calling each one of us to focus more of our time on building authentic face-to-face relationships with our families, our friends, our neighbors and our communities. To say, “I love you,” not just in words, but with actions that create a healing balm for the world’s hurts. This is the only way to make your life into a true, real-life love story.
Here are some ways to stay closely connected with each other –
- Be intentional about making a relationship last: Life is sure to get in the way, the busyness and stress of it. Making a friendship continue and grow takes time, but it is will bless you more than you thought possible. Talk openly with your friends on how to make the relationship span years, even decades. Contentment is much easier with connection.
- Activities have to be planned and time together should be a priority: Become creative. During a busy season of your life, maybe you can get together for a meal while your kids play in the yard. Or go grocery shopping together, sharing your life with meal planning.
- Support each other no matter what: Romans 12:15 tells us: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” The bonds of friendship grow stronger when walking together through life’s ups and downs. Develop an understanding with each other that says, “I care about you. I’ll stay beside you no matter what.”
A lasting friendship sometimes will be trying. It might get messy at times and it will require work. But, it will be worth it. If you hold onto Christ and his example of love, your relationships will be decorated with grace, compassion, and sweetness. They will be so beautiful one day can’t contain the love.
Myra Biernat Wells