Singles Awareness Day…Overly Commercialized Day When Retailers Make Way Too Much Money…
I hear the sarcasm dripping from the voices of many “unattached” people as they wake up on Valentines Day and bitterly realize that no one “loves” them. You may shrug your shoulders, toss your hair, and proclaim that you are perfectly happy being single…but this is the one day of the year when there is no avoiding the truth: No one is going to buy you roses or bring you chocolates…unless it’s your single best pal coming over to commiserate.
No, I am not going to spend this post telling you to buck up. I spent many years as a single young woman, and although I was perfectly content being single, there was something about walking through the store and seeing heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and soft, cuddly teddy bears hugging hearts that say “I love you” that makes a single person, no matter how content, feel just a little bit lonely and sad. I can’t count the times when I would sigh and wonder if anyone would ever find me beautiful enough to fall in love with and bring me roses. If you’ve read my post about our Love Story, you know that my Prince Charming found me just over a year ago…but until then, I’d spent every Valentines Day alone.
My commitment to stay single and not date until God brought the right guy into my life was not always easy, but it gave me the incredible opportunity to discover the true meaning of Valentines Day. It is not, as commercialism would have us believe, all about cuddly teddy bears, roses, and heart-shaped chocolates. It’s not even about hugs and kisses from the one person you love more than any other on earth. Rather, Valentines Day is all about love. True Love. Love that cannot be defeated by sarcasm and the lack of roses. Love that turns everything it touches into pure beauty.
This love I am talking about transcends earthly affection and romance. It is the kind of love that endures pain, rejection, hatred, jealousy…and continues to love anyway. It is the kind of love that would cross the Sahara Desert and swim the Pacific Ocean for the one beloved…or the kind of love that would leave heaven and descend into the darkness of earth to live, suffer, and die to save His beloved.
Have you ever watched Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella? If you have, perhaps you will remember the song Cinderella and the Prince sang minutes before the clock struck midnight:
“Do I love you because you are beautiful? Or are you beautiful because I love you?”
This scene is so sweet and wonderful. I don’t know any girl who can listen to Brandy and Paolo Montalban sing their lovely duet and not sigh somewhere deep inside, wondering if she is truly beautiful, if she is worthy of that kind of love. Is she beautiful enough to be loved like that? Maybe if she had a sparkly enough dress? Or a fairy godmother??
Let me tell you this: God does not love us because we are beautiful. In God’s holy sight, no one is beautiful, no not one. All are stained as ugly as sin, and that is not a joke. Sin disfigures and destroys anything and everything that is lovely about us. With this in mind, none of us deserve a fairy tale like Cinderella. However, something wonderful happened when Jesus came to earth and gave Himself on the Cross for us: He loved us. And He didn’t love us because we are beautiful. No, we are now beautiful because He loves us. He loved us so much that He left His princely throne in heaven and came to earth to live a lowly life and die a horrific death to provide a covering for our sin-scarred selves. That covering is His blood, and it washes away sin, cleansing and beautifying us as nothing else can do.
To me, this is what Valentines Day is all about. When you look around you and see red and pink and hearts everywhere…don’t feel sad! Don’t feel lonely!! Feel beautiful as you remember the sweetest Valentine of all was given 2000 years ago–for you. It was carved in wood, etched deeper than any lovers’ initials on a tree. It was stained redder than any foil-wrapped chocolate. It was signed by your truest Valentine, the Lover of your soul, Who doesn’t love you because you are beautiful, but Who made you gloriously beautiful beyond compare by His love.
You are beautiful because He loves you! And that knowledge is what will sustain you through this day. It is not a day to be made extra aware of how unloved and single you are, but a day to recognize and realize the meaning of God’s deep love for you!!
Happy Valentines Day!