(Photo Courtesy of Google Images for Free Use)
By Molly Kelley
Whether you look forward to the holiday or dread its arrival, there is no escaping that love is in the February air! Red and pink are the colors of this wintery month just as cherubs and hearts are its mascots. An entire industry has been made of the day; from restaurant specials to Hallmark cards, this is a holiday that begs to be celebrated.
But what if Valentines Day isn’t circled with a heart on your calendar this year? What if it never was? Will you sit in depression longing for things that aren’t, or even worse, bitterly scroll through Facebook annoyed at the “happy couples?”
Well, before the eye-rolls ensue, let’s remember having a significant other doesn’t guarantee a happy day. Many even in relationships are left unsatisfied when the day comes to an end. There is so much pressure put on the night that often we’re left disappointed as our romantic ideals are left unmet. We watch shows like “The Bachelor” and wonder where our own helicopter ride and private concert is?! (Never mind we would never want that kind of rose waiting at the end of our date!)
But worse than suffering the pain of unmet expectations (be them realistic or not…hello, riding off into the sunset dream, I still see you…) is experiencing feelings of loneliness when, in fact, you are not alone.
Whichever camp you fall into this year, the uncoupled, happily coupled, or unhappily coupled, there is hope for a love that will outlast any Valentine’s Day hoopla. The secret to such a love is simply found in this: our soul-mate.
Come again?! You might say. Well, just hear me out…
Much has been made about finding our soul mates; movies have been written, plays have been performed, but a myth has always remained: “The One” is a man.
I remember in college watching a scene in the then popular movie “Jerry McGuire.” Tom Cruise barges into a living room full of women, finally telling Renee Zellweger the words she was longing to hear: “I love you” (cue Tom’s clenched jaw and intense, teary eyes) “You complete me.” Wherein she responds with the infamous line, “You had me at hello.” They embrace. The women swoon. And the scene ends. Ahhhhh, the dream. (If you want to see for yourself, here is the clip. But promise you’ll come back to me!)
As much as my romantic heart cheered at this climactic move (and believe me, it did), there was something inside me that knew even then his words couldn’t be further from the truth. As wonderful as they sounded and as perfect as they were delivered, the facts remained the same. No woman could ever complete him, and no man can ever complete us.
When we talk about finding a mate for our soul, doesn’t it make more sense to talk about the one our souls were made for?
Enter Jesus. Our knight in shining armor, our portrait of sacrificial love, the hero of our story. He fights for us, he dies for us, and he rises again in victory. There is no greater love story than the one told by Him. No epic tale or rom-com can come close to the fierce and faithful way in which He chose to love us.
Isaiah 54:10 says, “For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet my love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10 NKJV).
He is promising nothing will come between us. You can go to the ends of the earth, and I will find you. The world can fall apart, and I will never stop loving you or seeking after you. I have made a promise to you. l complete you. Did you hear that? Sure, we may not have had the words acted out by Tom Cruise, but they are there, written to us, spoken to us first by Jesus, Himself. And He says something else as well…
He says that we are His.
What question better sums up Valentines Day than a boy asking a girl to be his. “Will you be my Valentine?” From the kindergarten classroom on up to a college dorm, this question will be heard. “Be Mine” is pressed onto candy hearts and printed on paper valentines. But guess what? Jesus beat V-day to this one too when He asked us to be His. Isaiah 43:1b says,
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b NKJV)
If we have any intention of looking for the truth this year on Valentine’s Day, let us look to Jesus. What a heroic Love we have. He stands and faces the enemy, and claims us as His own. He assures us there is no need to fear now, our belonging’s been squared away.
We belong to Him.
In the Biblical narrative, we start as His sons and daughters, but later in the Bible, He begins to refer to us as His bride.
He speaks of us saying,
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you… and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you…And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.” (Isaiah 62:1-5; 12 ESV)
Here He is, our perfect Valentine. Our soul-mate. The One. What is it we’re looking for this Holiday? We’re looking to be loved. And what could be more lovely than the way in which He does this? He sees us as beautiful and delights in us. He’s ecstatic over us like a groom is toward his bride. He calls us “Sought Out” because He has sought after us, and will pursue us till the very end. This is our truth!
I hope this Valentine’s you say yes because He’s asked you to be His. He may not have gotten down on one knee, but He climbed onto a cross. Nothing will ever be as grand a gesture as the one Jesus has made toward us. Remember this as you watch your rom-coms or when you come home from a Valentine’s date and are tempted to feel a tinge of self-pity. He’s given us all the love we need. He’s given us Himself.