Romans 5:8, Jeremiah 31:3
If you have a spouse or a boyfriend or girlfriend you’re probably expecting to receive a card for Valentine’s Day or maybe to write one. And what will that card say? What do you hope that card says? Maybe something like this.
“I love you because you’re so beautiful.”
“I love you because the way you make me feel.”
“I love you because you love me.”
“I love you because you’re so funny.”
“I love you because you’re so exciting and energetic.”
“I love you because you bring joy into my life.”
What if you received a card that said this: “I love you because I chose to love you.” Maybe that would seem a little bit insensitive, right? After all don’t we want to hear about all of our wonderful traits that we have? The reason that people love and adore us? Don’t we want to hear that we are beautiful and exciting and funny and all of those things?
And what happens as you grow old? What happens when maybe your beauty fades? What happens maybe when you get sick or in an accident and aren’t able to be as active or fun as you once were? What then?
Perhaps it is good, if someone says they love us because they chose to love us. Someone I know tells a story about when he was dating his spouse. He remembers a very serious conversation he once had with her, how she described her life, how so many things had gone wrong. She lost a parent at an early age. How one of her siblings was addicted to alcohol. How there were other problems and strife within her family.
Yet he said upon hearing all of this he decided “I’m going to love this girl.” I’m going to take care of her. I’m gonna give her a better life in future, but even he had to admit that part of the reason why he decided to marry her was because of how she made him feel. And he was attracted to her and all of those things too.
Maybe perhaps a better picture of the sort of unconditional love or choosing to love, maybe is the picture of a parent who upon seeing their child for the very first time chooses to love that child. They’re going to take care of that child no matter how many awful things those children do. No matter how many times they have to wake up in the middle of night to feed them or to change a dirty diaper. No matter how many times they hurt them. But even children at times can push the limits of their parent’s love.
The best and perfect picture of unconditional love is really the picture of our God’s love for us. Romans Chapter 5 it tells us of God’s love it says this
But God shows his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
It tells us there that God didn’t love us because we were so lovable or because of the way we made him feel or because we are so beautiful or good or any of those things. But while we were still sinners God loved us and he cared about us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Really, God’s love isn’t based on the way that we make him feel or anything that we’ve done for him. Rather it’s based on his own mercy, his own goodness, and his own promises. In Jeremiah Chapter 31 verse 3 it says this: God speaks to his people and he says,
I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Yes, not only did God choose to love us and send His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins but God’s love stands forever. What a comfort that is to us no matter what we have done, His love remains. We can always return to Him repent of our sins and know that His love stands for us today and forever.
Do I expect this Valentine’s Day that you’re going to receive a card that says “I love you because I chose to love you?” Or that you’re gonna write that in a card? Probably not. This Valentine’s Day and let us remember God’s unconditional love for us. That is shown to us who are sinful human beings, undeserving of his love, yet the unconditional love he has poured out for us in Christ that stands for us now and forever. Amen.