Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today, Is the reddest day of the year. Everywhere we look there are red posters, red hearts, red text messages, red candy boxes, red heart emojis, and red bouquets of flowers. So many of us are buying special gifts for those that we love and some of us are hoping to receive a gift from someone we care about. Maybe we already enjoy love that has endured the ages, or maybe we have just recently found love, yet, others are looking for someone to love and to be loved by someone.
Wherever we are on the path to love, we are bombarded by a world that commercializes love and tosses it away at the slightest tremor of trouble.
It is hard to sift through all of the different ideas of what True Love is. Some say that love is passion, and when the passion is gone, love is gone. Others believe that we can love anyone, in any way, at any time, without any limitations or any boundaries.
There are others who believe in a love that endures a lifetime of valleys and mountaintops, sunrises and sunsets, good days and bad days, times of poverty and riches. This is what we’ll be talking about today. Enduring, everlasting love that stands the test of time.
The LORD sets the example both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament of what True Love is. True Love stands side-by-side with the one that we have chosen. Love is also among other things, forgives, corrects, is kind, and is not self-involved.
Let’s talk about standing side-by-side, everyday, rain or shine.
The Old Testament explains to us that God chose Israel, and loved Israel above all others. The first book of Kings tells us that **.. the LORD loved Israel for ever.** Over and over again, God chooses to forgive Israel for their ignorance, their apathy, and their waywardness. Although the children of Israel ignored or rejected God many times, God was always ready to forgive and receive them again because His love for them was a merciful love.
The Prophet Jeremiah also tells us about the depth of God’s love to Israel…
**The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.** Jeremiah 31:3
God repeatedly forgives and shows mercy to the one that He loves, because once God chooses to love someone, He never stops. He never takes it back.
King Solomon tells us, after observing life and all of its tragedies and victories…
**Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity** Ecclesiastes 9;9
God sets the example with his everlasting love for Israel, and Solomon, a man who had many wives and understood the perils of relationships, encourages husbands to always love their wives joyfully.
To better understand what it means to continually love someone, to never give up on them, to decide to always forgive, to be merciful, and to start each new day with a clean slate, forgetting past mistakes…Let’s take a quick look at what the New Testament tells us about Christ’s love for his Church.
**Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?** Romans 8;35
**For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.**Romans 8:38,39
These three verses from The Book of Romans clarify for us what it means to love unconditionally and eternally. They cover everything. Nothing from this list will keep Christ from loving his Church. Is there something in this list that we’ve allowed to disrupt our love relationship with Him?
Over the years, many, if not all of these hindrances, challenge Christ’s love to us. They also challenge our love to Him. Yet, the love bond is not broken, at least not by Him. So, what big or small issue are we harboring in our hearts that is making us doubt the vows we made to our spouse to love them till death do us part? If Christ can forgive us, and his Church, for all of our mistakes, can we not find something deep within ourselves to forgive our spouse?
My marriage has not been a bed of roses. It has not been all happy, joyful, sunshiny days. But, at some point through the years, both my husband and I decided that we would learn to love each other the way Christ loves us. Every morning is a new day and each of us starts that day with a clean slate before God and before each other. Yesterday’s mistakes are forgotten. If we even speak of them, it is to share what we have learned from that situation, but it is not to condemn, criticize or reject each other.
**It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.** Lamentations 3:22,23
Enduring Love, True Love in Marriage and in any human relationship should mirror the everlasting love of Christ towards us. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m just saying the example is there. If we follow His example and learn more of Him and his love for us, our love for each other becomes the True Love that each of us seeks.
**Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.** John 13;1
May each of us enjoy True Love on this Valentine’s Day!