God's kind of Valentines
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
God’s Kind of Valentines
One February before Valentine’s Day a shy, unassuming little guy named Chad came home and told his mother he wanted to make Valentine’s cards for everyone in his class. Her heart sank for Chad as he told her because she watched every day as the children from Chad’s class walked home from school, talking and running, and playing, but never including Chad in their fun. She chose to remain silent, though, and to help Chad with his desire to give his classmates Valentines. For nearly three weeks, Chad and his mother worked tirelessly to craft thirty-five different cards.
Valentine’s Day finally arrived, and Chad excitedly loaded his hand-made Valentine’s cards into his bag and bolted out the door. Mom thought it was going to be a tough day for Chad, so she thought some nice warm cookies and a glass of milk would help to ease the pain of the day when he returned from school. Surely, he would be disappointed, for she knew the children were unlikely to remember Chad in their Valentine’s. She was hurt to think how bad this day was going to be.
That afternoon she had the cookies and milk ready when school was out. She heard children outside, so she looked out the window, and sure enough, here they came laughing and playing as always. Chad was following behind all alone, as always. He was walking a little faster than usual, though. She waited for Chad to burst into tears as he made it to the door. His arms were empty, and she could hardly choke back the tears as he burst through the door.
“Mommy has some warm cookies and milk for you,” she said.
But Chad hardly heard a word she said. He just walked right by her, his face aglow, and all he could say was:
“Not a one…not a single one!”
Mom’s heart sank.
Then Chad added, “I didn’t forget a one, not a single one!”
You see, little Chad understood that love was about giving, not receiving. Not many people understand that. Marriages often crash against the rocks of expectations when one partner fails to respond to the advances of their partner in the expected way. When you love someone they way Christ loves them you are all about giving love, not receiving it in return. The most successful love relationship is two people trying to out-love the other. Remember, the most powerful verse in the Bible, John 3:16, begins “For God so loved the word that he GAVE...”
AGAPE’ love is giving love! If someone returns the love, that is wonderful. But real love is unconditional with no expectations. We should love for the sake of loving; not for the sake of getting something back.
This Sunday, Josh will begin our 4-part February sermon series at First Christian Church titled PASSION OR PROMISE Love Stories from Scripture. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Bible has paperback novel type love stories in it. We will explore romance, love, lust and the blessing God brings to, even the most imperfect, relationships. We will see his grace and redemption in the lives of real people. Hopefully, we will see how God wants to redeem and bless our love relationships today.