It's that time of the year again when shops and malls are filled with heart cutouts, heart balloons, heart chocolates and cookies and what-have-yous shaped like a heart. It's that time of the year when roses seem to flood the streets and restaurants are fully-booked for dinners for two.
Some years ago, I would have cringed at the thought of February 14 fast approaching. Though outwardly, I'd feign an I'm-cool-I'm-not-a-lovey-dovey-kind attitude, still, I'd silently wish that I'd get a bouquet of white roses or a box of dark chocolates with almonds on that date. And because I was a control freak (streaks of it still show up once in a while until now), I learned to devise my own coping-with-the-valentine-fever plan: I'd give myself my own gift or treat just so I'd be happy on Valentine's Day. I'd often tell myself that one day, someone's gonna give me a treat or two on that day.
Today, I am joyfully engaged to the love of my life--the sweet surprise and wonderful blessing the great Lord has blessed me with. (Yes, God knows how I love surprises and the loving Father that He is, He never failed to give me lots!) We are engaged, excited, and happy at the thought of getting married (Lordwilling!), but for the years that we've been together, we have not been celebrating this holiday. And we probably won't be celebrating it even after our marriage. And yes, I am so thankful that we ended up this way, that the Father gave me someone like Him--someone who cares less about what the world says and more on what the Father Up Above thinks and commands.
You see, I have nothing against those who celebrate this day. We all have our own convictions and I respect the decisions of everybody. Allow me to simply present my reasons and air my side:
1. The way the world celebrates this day, it makes you think that love is cheap.
There's no need to elaborate on this one. But with the materialism and commercialism this day brings, it makes one innocent heart to think that it can be bought by a mere balloon or stuffed toy or a dozen of roses. It makes young girls think that just because they are being treated with dinner and dessert, a nice bouquet of flowers and chocolates, they are obliged to give in. You see, love is so much more than these. Love is a decision. Love is a commitment.
2. Our celebration of this holiday advances the me-myself-and-I culture.
With all the material things being sold to mark this day, selfishness is actually being promoted. Each one of us is actually being sold to the idea that it is okay to want/desire something and whoever gives us what we want/desire is the one who truly loves us. I see this as a very convuluted concept. Love is not selfishness but selflessness. It does not seek to please ourselves but to serve others. Love is sacrificial.
3. How we usually celebrate this day gives us the wrong notion of what love really is.
Well, this is the most important point. The idea of celebrating valentine's is to celebrate a love that is being orchestrated by a cute baby with a bow and arrow. We are made to believe that love is like that, that this cute cupid can just hit anyone's heart and make him/her fall in love. And because we are made to think that we fall in love by chance and destiny, we believe that we no longer have to control our emotions or make wise decisions. We are made to believe that we love by ourselves, that the center of our love is the heart.
However, this is not the love that God intends for us. Real perfect love is the love of God personified in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who came to the world and sacrificed himself so we may have life. Jesus Christ is the perfect embodiment of love--He is kind and patient; He is faithful to His covenant; He is selfless, giving Himself up for our sins. He loves us perfectly that He does not really care about our past but what He cares is that we put our trust in Him. He does not keep a record of our wrongs but He always rejoices with the truth in us.
With this, we learn that love, actually, is not about our hearts but about the Cross--self-sacrifice.
As we live this day, let us not be blinded by the worldly thoughts on love but on how God really designed it to be.
Unless and until we accept and are fully satisfied by the love of God, we will never be capable of loving someone else. Unless and until we understand God's love, we will never be truly happy in our own idea of love.
This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world
that we might live through him. This is love:
not that we loved God, but that he loved
us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice
for our sins. this is love ♥1 John 4:9-10