Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, I thought I would share with you all this cute short movie called Paperman. Enjoy!

I personally don't often celebrate Valentine's Day for many reasons - because I'm single, because until more recently I've been of an age where it doesn't feel terribly important, because as we live in New Zealand it is never made as much of a deal as other holidays, because our family (namely my parents) have never really made a big day out of it ... which means that often we just let it pass as almost any other day of the year. However, I do understand that for many other people it is a big day and so it is worthwhile to acknowledge it. :)

I guess there are a few things I could say on this day which I'm sure is already being said over the blogs of single Christians all over the place. As this day is all about love, I think we all have to remember what God's definition of love actually is:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things ... So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13. 
I know that I fall far short in showing love towards others according to this verse! So often on Valentine's Day the focus is on romantic love: the kind between a husband and wife, and so it should be as that is one of the greatest demonstrations of a godly, self-sacrificial love that God has given us! However, if we look at God's definition of love, it becomes clear that our love towards others should never be merely limited to a romantic kind reserved for one person, but we can and should be extending different kinds of love to all sorts of people - friends, family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, even a stranger on the bus! The key is to be loving our neighbour with Christ's love: a self-sacrifical, unconditional love that seeks to serve others rather than ourselves. If you're anything like me, you will feel an utter failure at this! But with the Lord's help, we can reach out to others and show them practically what loving our neighbour really means.

So, my challenge to you (whether you are single or in a relationship for Valentine's Day) and myself is this: to love with this Christlike love and not to just focus on the gushy, romantic kind of love that so often is the focus on this day.

For us single girls, that may mean biting our tongues and rather than wrapping ourselves in self-pity, jealousy and bemoaning our "single" status, looking for ways to serve others that day. Is there an elderly person or someone ill from church who would appreciate a meal? Are there some godly sisters in Christ you can spend quality time with? Is there a friend having a rough time that you can reach out to with a phone call? But most of all, ask the Lord to help you not to give in to feelings of self-pity and jealousy! Please pray that I would be doing that and I'll be praying for you all too! :)

For those who are in a relationship, loving with a Christlike love may mean being sensitive towards others who are not in a relationship: sure - spend the day with the one you love, but tread carefully and be sensitive towards that girl you know who has just gone through a break-up, or that older sister in Christ who is still single. This may mean that you hold fire on lots of gushy Facebook posts, or at least are careful with what you say. It may mean finding small ways to serve your significant other, rather than just spending the day how you want it spent (and yes, especially if you are married, that may actually mean spending the day cleaning the house)! Or it may mean finding some way to include your family in your day, showing them that you care for them too. :) Don't neglect your significant other (of course!) but find creative ways to be serving others and glorifying God on the day, and not just your own needs or wants. I'll be praying for you!!! :)

Hmm... this is starting to come out as a bit of a lecture! :P I think I'd better stop there! God bless and may you look to Him this Valentine's Day!


Emily said...

My mom just put 1 Corinthians 13 on our fridge a few days ago, so it's one I've been thinking about this week. I love it when I meditate on a verse and then see it keep popping up everywhere!
I think Paperman might be my favorite short. :)

Violet said...

Yes, it is amazing how the Lord does that isn't it? I can't count the number of times I've been meditating on something like a verse and then the application for it pops up everywhere! It's like the Lord hands me a wonderous truth and then says, "Now, put it into practice!" 1 Corinthians 13 is such a powerful verse - but a challenging one that I know I fail at on a daily basis. I once heard a good sermon on this passage, and rather than simply focussing on our need to love our neighbour, the person preaching showed how Christ fufilled each one of these requirements perfectly. Such an eye-opener, for some reason I had never thought about the passage that way before. But it sure helps us to remember that God can and does help us and that ultimately He fufills the requirement to love perfectly. Yes, I love Paperman too!

God bless & I hope you had a blessed Valentine's Day Emily! :D

Your sister in Christ,
Violet <3