February 13, 2012 by Kristen
For me, Valentine’s Day has a history of being an emotional roller coaster ride. In elementary school, it meant construction paper hearts with copious amounts of glitter, classroom parties with dixie cups full of an unidentifiable red liquid, and obligatory cards from your classmates. In high school, my mom brought me a heart-shaped pizza to school with a bag full of candy to share with my friends, in attempts to soothe the teenage angst of being alone on Valentine’s. (So embarrassingly wonderful.) College brought one special long-distance Valentine’s date via Skype during the wee hours of the morning due to a time difference. Later years brought some tears and unmet, unrealistic expectations. This year, I have an unopened card on my dresser from my best friend in Africa–whose sweet heart prompted her to pen me a Valentine before leaving on her trip over six months ago.
I shouldn’t be a fan of Valentine’s Day. I should join the other haters, call it “Singles Awareness Day,” bemoan my relationship status, and smash a heart-shaped pinata a la Jessica Biel in Valentine’s Day.
But I simply can’t be negative about a day celebrating love. Sure, it might be better if I were in love at the moment–if I knew a romantic evening full of Frank Sinatra, red roses, and twinkly lights awaited me. But, I’m really okay without all that. So why am I going to refrain from marathoning chick flicks, knocking over teddy bear displays at my local CVS, or posting “love is a lie” as my relationship status? Because I have never been unloved. Here I am, unlovely and unlovable. Yet, I undeservingly know the most perfect love in the universe.
Tim Keller explains it so well—
“When God says, ‘I don’t love you because you’re more spiritual, more moral, more doctorally sound…I love you just because I love you. And you love only because I kept after you, and after you, and after you,‘til I finally broke you open.’ That transforms. That transforms your identity. Why? Because finally I don’t have to be smart, I don’t have to be sophisticated, make a lot of money, I don’t have to be fun, be good looking—because those factors are gone. Finally, I’m loved for myself.
If you know the reason why God loves you, or your spouse loves you, or people love you, or anybody loves you—because you have a great career, you will never be able to handle a reversal of that career. Or because you’re so talented, you’ll never be able to handle competition. Or because you’re so, anything—you’ll never be able to handle failure. But the divine, sovereign, electing grace of God—-He loves you just because He loves you. That will transform you.”
It truly does transform. So, Happy Valentine’s Day. “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Why wouldn’t you celebrate that?