He First Loved US

He First Loved US

I did absolutely nothing with no one on this past February 14th.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it can be a struggle.  We may suffer without chocolates to comfort us, without flowers to make us smile.  We might binge-watch Marvel movies or buy new clothes. We listen to sad music and weep in our self-pity.  Similarly to the text at the bottom of the screen during a medical advertisement, Valentine’s Day has side-effects.  It’s a good time for the couples, yes, and I’m happy for you guys. However, for many people, it’s grown into a question about self-worth, and, of course, love.  

The idea of love is something our society today continually mentions yet never seems to understand.  We are told to “love ourselves,” to “find true love,” that “love is blind,” etc., etc. There’s a romantic subplot in almost every movie you have ever seen, and TV shows find much of their abundant material in the classic trope of the love triangle.  We live in a culture obsessed with love. It is because love seems to have this innate connection to worth.  In the words of the musical Rent, “Measure your life in love.” 

So who, in general, is worthy of love?  Are you worthy of love? 

In sixth grade, a teacher told my class the story of the actual St. Valentine, who was imprisoned for his faith in God, and how Valentine’s Day was originally associated with God’s love rather than my lack of it.  I had dismissed the story then. But now I realize she had a point.  

People on Valentine’s Day struggle because we think I am not good enough for anyone

But good enough does not matter to true love.  True love is not blind, either. True love clearly sees weaknesses, flaws, ugliness, brokenness, and loves despite it all.  And that is why the focus of today’s blog is one of AllThingsByFaith’s T-shirts. Specifically—one of our newest designs—”1 John 4:19,” which says, “We love because He first loved us.” 

God is the source of true love.  And, according to 1 John, He loved us first

Deuteronomy 7:6-9 says, 

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Valentine’s Day is about God’s love.  God loved us first, set His affection on us and chose us because He loved us because He loved us because He loved us—not because of anything we did or can do.  The God of the universe loves us, and therefore we have complete and ultimate worth, and not merely the feeling of happiness some people get on February 14th.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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