Valentine’s Day always takes my mind back to grade school. Remember those candy hearts that had messages on them? “You’re Sweet”, “True Love”, “Be Mine”.
Or the small Valentine cards that you would give and receive from your classmates. Some were funny, cartoonish, others included sweet sayings that would lift up your spirits, confirming you were liked. How I based my feelings of worth on the number of Valentines I received!
The desire for recognition and approval - to be loved - doesn’t end in 5th grade. It lasts a lifetime. In fact, one of our strongest motivations in life is to grasp for ourselves lasting love. Knowing we are loved confirms our significance, our worth. It is our heart’s desire. I spent half of my life pursuing it and living in fear of the loss of it. How about you? Are you still searching for it?
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Augustine.
The simple, yet amazing fact is, we already have it… or can have it. Not by making ourselves over. Not by earning it. Not by becoming someone “worth” having it. No, only by inviting the One Who IS love to come into our lives - our hearts.
We were created to love and be loved by the One Who first loved us. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3b).
Why would God love us before we were born, before the foundation of the world? What did He see in us that would ignite love in His heart for us?
Nothing. That’s the uncomfortable truth. We had nothing to offer, no “sweetness”. In fact, we were the opposite: ugly, sinful messes. Yet He chose to love us with the greatest love of all (John 15:13), just as we were. He chose to rescue us from our sinful ways and redeem us for Himself by putting to death His only Son and transferring His worth to us. Now we can “love because He first loved us” (1John 4:19).
In in His Valentine letter, God assures us we have all the True Love we will ever need: “ Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; You are Mine" (Isaiah 43:1b).
He is our first Valentine.
He is forever ours.
We are forever His.
-Kathi Fritz (A contributing member of the Crown of Beauty community)