Let’s play a Valentine’s game. Would you rather have pure radical love or a dozen red roses? A few years back a friend couldn’t believe that my husband didn’t send me roses for Valentine’s Day. She made such a big deal about it that I wondered if I should be upset, too. Then truth flooded back as I pondered. We had just built a house together. Would I rather have some roses? Or love that builds things that last?
Sometimes I have the same would you rather game going in my head when it comes to Jesus. Would I rather have a God like a genie who grants all my wishes and wants me to be happy all the time? Or do I want a God who loves me in an indescribable, fully accepting, never ceasing way? I want the house my God offers, not the withering roses of the world.
We can get so caught up wondering what we mean to PEOPLE on Valentine’s Day, let’s stop and see what we mean to our GOD.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” (1John 3:1 NIV).
Exclamation points. There are not many of those in the Bible, but when speaking about the Father’s radical love for his children, John gets fired up enough that two exclamation points are necessary. Meanwhile, our default can often leave us thinking God’s love for us is worthy of a question mark. I wonder how life would change if we started living in the exclamation mark of God’s love.
Here’s what John says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” (1John 3:1 NIV).
That’s what we are! God’s kids who He LOVES! Not a bunch of people He has to put up with. Not people He wishes He didn’t create because we are a hot mess. We are His sons and daughters INDEFINITELY. And that is cause for an exclamation mark!
God loves you 100 percent. No matter if we are married, single, or hoping to be engaged, God’s love is the only one complete enough to make us whole.
God’s love is the only one complete enough to make us whole.
John goes on to tell us about that radical love…
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1John 3:16-18 NIV).
The other day my son looked at my wedding ring and asked how much it cost. I told him the expense and his eyes got big. “Mom! You wasted that money! You could’ve used that to build a house for someone who is homeless!”
Now, I’m not saying that having nice things is a sin. And my ring could not build a house. But in that moment my heart smiled. I thought of the four years I waited for that ring and the years of ups and downs of marriage it represents. Still, it’s just a ring, and like the roses on Valentine’s Day it will one day decay.
But the love the Father has poured on us, his kids, will last forever. And the sacrificing love we extend to others — the houses we build in their hearts — will be our brick in the kingdom of God.
“The sacrificing love we extend to others — the houses we build in their hearts — will be our brick in the kingdom of God” – Andrea Chatelain