Valentine’s Day is upon us. With it, all of February becomes a month during which we celebrate love. We celebrate the romantic love between sweethearts, the love of family members, and the love between friends. We can also, however, celebrate the love of our almighty God. Isn’t it wonderful that we serve a God Who loves us unconditionally?
Unconditional love is hard to come by in a world that is filled with disunity, judgment, and hatred. As followers of Jesus, however, we are both called and equipped to share and reflect His love with all those around us every day. It can be both our duty and our joy to be the hands and feet of Christ showing love to our loved ones and our neighbors when they need it most.
But how do we do this? It takes two steps.
First, we have to REDISCOVER God’s unconditional love. How do we do that?
- Remind Yourself of God’s love through Scripture: Over and over again throughout the Bible, God shows us so clearly that He loves us unconditionally. We see His love through the stories and His promises we read in the Bible. Those promises never fail and are as true today as they were thousands of years ago. The most awe-inspiring and deepest sign of His love for us? Sending His perfect and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins so we could have an eternal relationship with Him. There is no greater love than that.
- See God’s Love for us in Creation: The Scriptures point to His creation, “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God.” Not only His glory, His love is evident as we look around us at His marvelous creation. See how carefully God cares for the animals that roam the earth? He cares for the trees and flowers as well, giving them the precious cycles of life throughout the seasons. He cares for this earth and gave us the responsibility to be its stewards. He provides clean air to breath and the beautiful seasons to marvel. All of these things are part of the life God has given us. His love for us is expressed all around us.
- God’s love in action in the lives of others: We need to look no further than the lives of others when looking for God’s love in action. We see His healing hand in the lives of the sick. We see His comforting arms in the lives of the grieving. We see His courageous Spirit bolster those in need of courage. Time and time again we see God move in the lives of others simply because He loves us all so deeply. God doesn’t have to get involved in our lives, but He does. God’s love is easy to find. We hardly have to look for it. Let us open our eyes, take notice, and see what He’s doing to love us so well.
In response to REDISCOVERING God’s Love this Valentine’s Day, let us also SHOW God’s Unconditional Love to others in tangible, meaningful ways. How? Here are three intentional ways to do it this February holiday season.
- Listen without Interrupting: People want to be heard. They have so much to say. There is so much on their minds. Yet so many times they feel cut off and unheard. People don’t get to say everything that is on their hearts. This Valentine’s Day, show God’s unconditional love to others by listening to them without interrupting. Prompt them to say more. Ask thoughtful follow-up questions as they share. Listen completely. Don’t become distracted forming more questions or answers or responses in your brain. Listen actively. Your loved ones will notice and respond in love as well. God hears us when we call to Him. Let us also listen.
- Offer Acceptance: Loving people with the unconditional love of God means also offering them a kind of acceptance that perhaps they’ve never before experienced. Accepting people in love in spite of all their flaws and imperfections. Accepting people when we don’t agree with them. Accepting people who don’t look like us, act like us, or come from our cultural background. Demonstrating love to people requires intentionality. Ask God for wisdom — we cannot see or change or heal someone’s heart, but He can.
- Extend Grace: There are so many times in life when we want people to be punished. We want them to pay for the things they’ve done that are wrong. We want to be right. We want to win. We want to be honored for the ways that we are better than others. However, showing God’s unconditional love to people this Valentine’s Day can mean extending grace to people in all kinds of circumstances. It means giving them grace when they truly deserve to be punished. It means giving people space to heal and grow and expand their knowledge of Who God is and what He can mean in their lives. It means showing them God’s love instead of pointing out what we believe to be their sins. This Valentine’s Day let’s wrap people up in God’s love. What a truly remarkable difference this will make in our relationships.
Valentine’s Day is typically a day for commercialized love among sweethearts. This year, let’s find a way to make it about God’s unconditional love. Rediscover His love and share it with others.