Beauty in Brokenness

"He has made everything Beautiful in it's time." Eccl. 3:11

The Day of Love…

on February 12, 2014

So with Valentine’s Day coming up, I was preparing a biblestudy for my group of girls.  All are single.  I was debating on just ignoring the whole holiday all together to avoid the inevitable depression or just outright annoyance.  I get it!  I was there…

When I was younger, I was Miss Independent.  I didn’t profess a hatred for the holiday, just expressed indifference to the whole idea.  It was just another day.

But as I have gotten older, I really have come to appreciate the idea of a day to celebrate love.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I am now in a relationship.  Valentine’s Day can be a day to celebrate so much more than romantic love.  It should be a day to show love to all the significant people in your life.  Your family and friends are just as much in need of a Valentine!

A lot of the reason why I have come to appreciate the idea of celebrating love is because I have been growing in my experience of it.  I do not mean from my boyfriend, although he loves me well. But the more I experience Christ and His love for me, I can’t help but fall in love with the thought of Love.  Christ like Love!

One exercise we did was to write down characteristics of an ideal man… Let me tell you, those were pretty interesting!  Lots of giggling ensued during this discussion.  We came up with everything from Loves the Lord and loves kids, to muscles and likes to fly kites.  We covered everything.

But then I had them list traits of an ideal wife or girlfriend.  This was a little more humbling.  At close inspection, the ideal in both cases was not realistic.  We are never going to find or be all of these things.  At least not perfectly.

Then I studied 1 Corinthians 13… The ultimate chapter of love.  If you have ever been to any wedding you know what I am talking about.  Love is patient, kind… the list goes on an on.  Everything I wish I could be, and most of the things I am not.  This can be pretty humbling.  But really its just kind of a downer.  I do not walk away from that passage with all these warm fussy feelings.   I walk away saying “Man, I suck!”

But you know what, that is ok.  If we do not feel inadequate, I think we miss the beauty of the passage.

Let me explain:  The love in this passage is not talking about human love.  It is talking about Godly love.

Think about it.  God is love.  Love is not an action God does, it is the very fiber of His being.  It is his identity.  It’s not about us at all.  1 John 4:16 says “God is love.  Whoever lives in love, lives in God.”  Another verse in that chapter says, “We love because He first loved us.”  Isn’t that a little freeing?

We can’t love perfectly.  And we can never find the perfect mate, or friend, or family member that will love us perfectly.  But we are loved by a God that does.  We are so perfectly loved in Him, that if others fail us sometimes, we are not without love.  We are more than fine.  Taken care of completely.  It takes the pressure off of relationships.  It frees us to take risks in getting to know people and going deeper.  The deeper you go in relationship with someone, the more you risk getting hurt.  But Christ loves us deeper than we can ever have to capacity to love.  And He can heal more than we are capable of being hurt.   The love of Christ gives us freedom to fail at love because “His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12

My Favorite part of the 1 Corinthians passage is a part that doesn’t normally get read at weddings.  It is verse 12, which reads “Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Part of the risk of entering into relationships with people is that thought of being known.  If they knew me and all my mess, would they love me?  As they get to know me more, will they hate what they see and leave?  This is scary.  It is to risk rejection.

But Christ was the ultimate solution to that.  “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  He knew the depths of our sin and rebellion.  We wanted nothing to do with Him.  We we running as far from Him as possible, into the gates of Hell.  But He loved us so much, in our sin and despair, that He left the gates of Heaven to rescue us.  He knew that we would continue to sin.  He knew our sin past present and future.  He knows us fully, and was completely aware of the mess that He was stepping into.  Every time we fail Him, He is not suprised.  There wil never be a day that He says, “I didn’t know I was signing up for this.”  His love is unconditional.  He will never leave us, or forsake us.  He doesn’t expect us to love Him back perfectly.  He wants to show us how to love.

Isn’t that beautiful!  That is what love is.

That is what I want to celebrate on Valentine’s Day.  A Savior who loved me so perfectly, He has empowered me to love others.  Any other idea of love just falls flat.  Praise the Lord that He loved me, when I did not deserve it.  Praise Him that He is pleased with my imperfect love back.  

I hope you know that love today!

Risk loving Jesus.  It is worth it.

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