Love, incompletely

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Greetings friends, and happy Valentines Day!

Sarah and I have never been really big on celebrating these holidays. Why is today the day that we express our love to each other? Why is today the day for gifts and presents and chocolates? (Actually, Sarah has all but demanded I get her chocolate today, but I don't think that has as much to do with Valentines day as one might think...) What makes today any different than yesterday?

And then I was struck by how many of my friends on Facebook are single, and how much they struggle with this holiday. From a single person's perspective, this holiday is almost a slap in the face. Everybody else has somebody, except YOU. I can't imagine the loneliness that one might feel with every TV commercial, billboard, or news story dedicated to Valentines day when you have no one to celebrate with.

It all points to the fact that our idea of love as human beings, even at its absolute best, is incomplete. 1 John 4:8 says "But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." Love, when it is complete, is the Father. Love, when it is full, is the outstretched arms of Christ. Love, when it is most magnificent, is the grace and embrace of the Spirit.

So here's my encouragement to us today: Let us focus on the right kind of love. If we have a significant other, could we shower God with worship as much as we shower them with gifts and flowers? If we're single, could we direct our attention to the God of love rather than to our culture's idea of togetherness? If we are truly blessed enough to have a marriage, could we look at our spouse the way God looks at them?

Some food for thought!