With Valentine’s Day approaching next week, I figured it would be appropriate to write on love this morning. I get to celebrate Valentine’s Day for the first time ever this year! Eek! I know it’s a commercial holiday and what not, but come on? What girl doesn’t appreciate an excuse for her guy to take her out and treat her like a princess? Someday, I’ll write the post about why this is the first Valentine’s Day date and how I waited for my future husband, but today I am moving on.
I’d like to head into this post by quoting Matthew 22:37-39. “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” You’ve heard it before I’m sure. Now, let’s stop and take a brief look at how love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable and keeps no records of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every tough circumstance.
So, looking at these two verses together, we get an idea of what loving ourselves should look like. Let me ask you, do you love yourself the way God wants you to? Are you patient and kind…..to yourself? Do you allow jealousy over someone else’s looks or accomplishments to put you into the place of loving yourself less? Are you true to yourself? Do you keep a mental catalog of all the times you have fallen short and play it back like a broken record over and over again? Do you ever find yourself in a place where you are ready to give up and throw in the towel…on you?
God’s word teaches us that we love others the same way we love ourselves. I am very new to the realm of male-female relationship. I have never dated anyone other than my fiancé. Therefore, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. But I can humbly share the lessons that God teaches me along the way. I have noticed that when I don’t love me, it is very difficult for me to express love for my guy and it is even more of a challenge to receive his love for me. I assume it is impossible for me to be completely known and loved, because I have not yet done this for myself. The insecurities and fears nag at me and because I do not feel worthy of even loving myself, I find it impossible to believe that anyone else can truly love me either. I bet you can relate. And that’s where the truth of God is needed to give us a slap upside the head and snap us back to reality with a healthy dose of His real, perfect and unconditional love. You get the idea.
For this Valentine’s Day, I am encouraging you to get alone with God, whether you are single or not, it doesn’t matter. Examine your heart…do you extend love to yourself? Ask God to walk you along the path of learning to love yourself more in this season. It will have a direct impact on every important relationship in your life and will unlock immense freedom, security and confidence. It’s time to start loving you.