Here it is again – the one day out of the three hundred sixty-five that many people seem to dread – Valentine’s Day. It stirs up regret of what was or longing of what has yet to come. It seems totally focused on Eros – that romantic, physical love. And while romantic love is nice, there are so many other aspects of love that are so much more fulfilling and rewarding: friendship, nurturing, that brotherly/sisterly love, and most of all God’s perfect agape love.
God’s true love is precious beyond imagination. With Him you are loved no matter what you’ve done and NOT because of what you’ve done. But because you are His beloved creation made in His image. God loves you and nothing you do will change His great love for you! He knows you! You are HIs, Precious One!
You don’t have to measure up. Just as you are – that’s the girl He loves, “warts and all” as my grandmom used to say.
So … Be kind to yourself. In fact, be as kind to the girl in the mirror as you are to your best friend. you wouldn’t shame her or guilt her or point out all her negative attributes or call her “Stupid.” So show love to yourself as much as you do to others. Why?
Well here are some thoughts. We all know these famous words of Jesus on love from the book of Matthew:
Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”Matthew 22:37-39
We are told to, first, love God, but also to love others. There is a third person to love in these verses, did you catch it? I’ll give you a minute…
We are to love ourselves! We cannot genuinely love others well until we learn to truly love ourselves with all our failings. So here’s the process:
- Love God. His love is unconditional and He teaches us how to love.
- Love self. Not in a selfish “me first” kind of way, but accepting ourselves the way God has made us and not overdoing our focus on our achievements or our failings, but having a correct view of ourselves, and loving who we are because we are His. (Romans 12:3)
- Love others. Out of the abundance of love God has for the world, he enables us to love, genuinely love, even those that are hard to love.
So your challenge today is to accept God’s love for you, love yourself, and spread that love to those you encounter. Here’s a song that will help heal a wounded, unloved heart. Know today that I love you and better than that, God loves you.